Reflection at Night Prayer on Wednesday

We don’t say the “Te Deum” as often as we did in the days of Mattins, but you may remember the line, “We believe that you will come to be our judge”.
We….ll …. not …. rea…lly! (sorry, that’s me trying to stretch out those words with a screwed-up face). I mean, I don’t really believe that. Well, not in the way that it’s pictured in paintings of the last judgement – Jesus, hand held high and stern of face. And, in my defence, John didn’t believe it either. Yes, the world is being judged (already, actually), but it is judged by the light.
“Believe in the light while you have the light,” Jesus says in the passage for tonight. That is the light that is shining now, as he begins the way of the cross, and it is a light that the darkness cannot overcome. The hour has come. The hour of clarity when we see the light shining, and we see our true selves in that light. Ouch.
It’s all about truth. The truth about God is coming like an express train. For all the old testament prophecies, and the scripture that must be fulfilled, no one saw it coming. This is your God, the God who endures. The God who you can batter and taunt and spit at and she doesn’t change. The God who endures betrayal and injustice and just keeps on loving and loving and loving some more. It’s not about success or victory, it’s about the bottom line. Jesus loves his disciples to the end because he can’t do anything else. He is love. Shine the light on him, burn away everything till you reach rock bottom, and you get to love and can’t go any further. The bottom line. The truth.
Shine that light on me…. and I see the truth. My bottom line. I am not judged by Jesus, I judge myself. I can’t do anything else if I stand in the light of love. That judgement is happening all the time in me. It’s bringing me to the truth, to rock bottom, to the real me. Jesus, of course sees me as I am and loves me for it – always has; it’s me who finds it hard to look – to walk in the light. But if I don’t start with the truth, nothing I build will have any foundation, so it’s a light that’s worth enduring, a judgement that sets me free.
And Jesus says, now is the time for that clarity. Now the hour has come. Judgement after I die is pretty useless anyway, but if I walk in the light now, there’ll be no surprises later.
“Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”