Darkness and Light

She said…

John 1: 1-5 NRSV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Over the last two years we have sold or given away most of our possessions, including a lot of artwork that I either traded for or got great deals on. This mask is a piece I gave to Shannon as a birthday gift. It made the cut and is now hanging in our home on wheels, partly because it is lightweight and not too fragile, but mostly because I like the story. It was carved by Gerard Tsanakwa, from the Abanaki tribe.


When Abanaki children misbehave, they are not punished, they are told a story. Tsanakwa is a story teller, and this mask is a character from one of his stories. I have forgotten the name of the character, so let’s just call him John.

John represents the battle between Darkness and Light. John went out into the world to do battle with the darkness, but the harder he fought, the more the darkness spread. When he saw that he was not making any progress with his quest he decided to change his tactic; John decided to surround and overcome the darkness by spreading light.

It is our job here at Circle J Camp as well as in the world in general to spread the light. It is not our job to overcome darkness by doing battle, or trying to fix everything we perceive as broken with any system. We will never win. It is our job to do the work God has put us here to do and spread the light.

John 1: 6-9 NRSV
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.[b]

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