This was Aleisha’s homily for the family service at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, Hamilton, GA, on March 18, 2015.
The light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
Why in the world would someone choose darkness over light?
As a little kid, were any of you scared of the dark?
I am and so is my sister, so my parents gave me a night light so I could see that there weren’t any scary things in my room.
It seems like an obvious choice to use the night light rather than tremble in fear in the dark, but people choose darkness all the time.
Sometimes, it’s a little choice like choosing to say something mean when our feelings are hurt, rather than letting that comment go or responding with love, knowing that the hurt was not intentional.
Sometimes we get stuck in the dark.
We feel like we’ve been too ugly, that we no longer want anyone to see us for who we are.
Sometimes we travel in the dark because we are too afraid to stand up for someone or something else, but, we don’t have to stay in the dark!
The first part of the reading reminds us that Jesus was not sent to us to condemn. We don’t have to be perfect.
We can make mistakes and don’t have to be stuck in the dark forever because of those mistakes.
To get out of this scary darkness, we just have to choose light.
God gave us our night light in Jesus.
We can choose to love, to forgive, and to say we are sorry and mean it.
We just have to accept the gift of light and use the light and teachings we were given.
We can choose light or darkness. We can sit in the dark and stay scared, fearing whatever monster or judgment may be lurking.
When we do this our fear pulls at us, making us make more and more decisions that lead us to become part of the darkness.
Or we can choose light. I choose the light; which do you choose?