The light of the world – messages from an elderly care lockdown

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don cameron



February 7, 2022 4:05 p.m.


As churches were closed, residents of Rohini, an aged care village, heard a series of thoughts from fellow resident Don Cameron, a former Bishop of North Sydney. A group of residents who were encouraged by the talks published them as Rohini Reflections, for sale in Koorong. Here is one of Don Cameron’s meditations, written when he was 93 years old.

I am the light of the world

These words are the second of the words in which Jesus spoke to his listeners about himself and what he offered them, and what he offers and promises us. Light and darkness are big words in the Gospel of John. Jesus himself is light and everything that word “light” means. But he speaks to a world shrouded in darkness that, in the end, will not prevail. The light will win. And this is the story of Easter and the Resurrection.

When Jesus speaks of light and darkness, he speaks of good and evil, knowledge and ignorance. It speaks of our world, here and now. Our world is and always has been full of uncertainties. And what does the world we live in consider it really worth having? Wealth, big houses, luxury vacations? What do people want, and are they happy, really happy if and when they get what they want? Sometimes they do, and they are disappointed, even cruelly.

And what about walking in darkness? Very dangerous. We could fall and hurt ourselves, even seriously!

Jesus presents his listeners with a choice. Follow him, live as he demands, put God at the center of your life, leave the future in his hands and, in the end, in the end, everything will be fine. The journey may not be without pain, but we will never be alone. And the joy, beyond all expectation, will be at the end of the journey.

These words of Jesus tell us two things. First, the world around us, whether in the first or the twenty-first century, is both hazardous and deceptive. If we had everything the television commercials show us, would we experience lasting joy, unshakable hope? And where are the sure guarantees of safety and care? On television screens, or on the pages of the New Testament?

To follow Jesus, walking the path he has laid out before us, secure in his company, steady in our allegiance and trust, he will not fail us or forsake us, in life and in death. Walking in the light is a journey of joy, not without pain, but never alone, and with an ending of joy and wonder beyond all expectation.

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