Sermon Reflection: May 19, 2019

Sermon Reflection- May 19, 2019
By Herk Stokely
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6: 22 
The situation when the Master said this begins in Chapter 5 where Jesus, seeing the large crowds, goes up onto a mountain side.  His disciples follow Him and sit with Him and He begins to teach them.  This section of Matthew is usually called “The Sermon on the Mount.”  It’s not completely clear from the text whether He is teaching just His disciples, or the crowds that followed or both.  Regardless, the whole teaching takes up chapters 5, 6, and 7.  It is in this narrative that we find His teaching of the Lord’s Prayer and His description of the critical need to forgive in order to be forgiven. 
When I interpret this eye passage I feel that replacing “eye” with the word “vision” is appropriate.  So if one’s vision is healthy or clear, then the person is en-lightened in a way.  I think of it the way that turning on a light in a dark room can fill the room with light. 
Turning this around a bit: what a person sees in the World around them, and the way that they see it, is very much a reflection of what is going on inside of them.  If a person is faithful, loving, caring, peaceful, patient and kind, what they see in the world will be shaded and colored by this inner light.
In many ways life is like a mirror.  
If on the other had a person is lustful, fearful, angry, resentful, impatient, selfish and greedy, what they see in the World will just reinforce that inner darkness. 
And “How great is that darkness”
A good metaphor is a window.  I imagine myself as a window into a dark room (the World) with the sunlight (Son-light? 🙂 shining through.  Dirt on the window, hatred, anger, aversions, selfishness, dominance, control, lack of Love – all dim the light and darken the room.  Because I don’t like to deal with these things in myself, I see the shadows of these things on the opposite wall and convince myself that the dirt is on the wall (on all those other people).  When the window has been cleaned, by its very nature the light comes through clearly, illuminates the room, and surprisingly that dirt is gone from the wall.  

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