A friend posted on her wall on Facebook that today is indeed blue Monday, the saddest day of the year. It’s always the first Monday of the last full week of January. Some say the reason this time is the saddest is because of things like the bills have arrived from Christmas (though mine came much earlier), and it’s cold, winter and dark. The reality is though that sadness at this time of year can have more to do with the lack of exposure to the sun, and for many people Seasonal Affective Disorder is a reality. Depression sets in, and functioning every day can seem like an uphill battle. For people suffering with depression, these days especially can seem like you’re walking in darkness.
There are other ways in which people will feel in these days that they are walking in darkness, whether it be illness, or loss of job, a spouse, a child or other things equally devastating.
Some will argue that I am going to far off here, that Matthew is not referring to these kinds of things, that he is referring to spiritual darkness and sin. True, but cannot the things that I have listed also impact a person spiritually so that they experience darkness all around them?
There are many different ways, I believe that we walk in darkness and we need the power of a great light. The text this week gives that promise of a new light.
Jesus begins to preach to the people “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Well I am not convinced you can, nor should you have to, repent from depression…but the message here can be that when we turn our perception around, even though we might still face the real darkness we also can celebrate the hope that we have in the kingdom of God, the hope of the light that he brings.
And for those of us, experiencing the fullness of the light of God, we can share it with others because we know what it is to have walked in darkness and there may come days in the future when we again will need his light shared with us in a time of need.
I don’t know, those are just some thoughts that I have upon reading this week’s text.
What about you, how do you read the text?