Transforming Darkness with Light

Inner lightHusbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church – for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Ephesians 5:25-33 (NIV)

The relation of husband and wife is the way our world reflects the relationship of the Creator with His Creation. There is nothing more pivotal to the world’s ultimate fulfillment than this.

Therefore, as the world nears closer and closer to its fulfillment, the resistance grows stronger and stronger. By now, absolutely everything appears to be undermining the most crucial key of peace between man and woman.

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
“Peace at Home”
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

Anyone who’s ever been married knows that, even in the best of relationships, there can be strife and disagreement at times. It isn’t always easy to maintain peace in the home at every moment. The world around you may never know that you and your spouse aren’t getting along, but you know, your spouse knows…and God knows.

How much more does God know about the state of our relationship with Him, if we are on good terms or are feeling estranged. As Rabbi Freeman states, our relationship with our spouse is a reflection of our relationship with God. As the world progresses to a condition of ever greater darkness, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain peace in the home and peace as we attempt to enter the Temple of Hashem.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. –2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NIV)

Even in the community of faith, “peace is the home” is getting harder to secure. As Paul predicted, we are living in an age when “people will not put up with sound doctrine”, although it is ironic that some very shallow viewpoints on the Word of God are considered to have “deep meaning”. We also see values that once were great in the hearts of believers, visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, giving to the poor, are now considered passe’ and have been replaced by the latest fads in church “feel-good-about-yourself” programs. And yet, in any relationship, no matter the circumstances, we can still overcome the barriers as long as we keep our focus on the object of our love and faith:

Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written [in Genesis 3:21], “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them,” so too should you also clothe the naked. The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick, as it is written [in Genesis 18:1], ‘Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre,’ [while he was still recovering from circumcision,] so too should you also visit the sick. The Holy One, blessed be He, comforted mourners, as it is written [in Genesis 25:11], “After the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac,” so too should you also comfort mourners. The Holy one, blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written [in Deuteronomy 34:6], “And He buried [Moses] in the valley in the land of Moab,” so too should you also bury the dead. –b.Sotah 14a

Here we see God’s love for us and His example in how we should show love to others. We also see this in the life of the Master:

Yochanan heard in prison about the deeds of the Mashiach and sent two of his disciples. They said to him, “Are you the one who comes, or should we wait for another?” Yeshua answered and said to them,

“Go tell Yochanan what you have heard and what you have seen. The blind are seeing, the lame are walking, metzora’im are becoming pure, the deaf are hearing, the dead are rising, and the poor are receiving good news. And O, the gladness of th eman who does not stumble because of me!” –Matthew 11:2-6 (DHE Gospels)

Holding onto lightAs the time of darkness approaches, we can push it back and indeed, by our acts of trust and faithfulness to Jesus, we can actually transform the darkness into light, at least in part, and when he returns to us, he will  make everything complete and restore the world to light.

When light pushes away the darkness, eventually another darkness shall come. When the darkness itself is transformed into light, it is a light that no darkness can oppose.

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

Is it any wonder we have this comparison?

Yeshua spoke to them once more saying, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will not walk in darkness, for he will have the light of life.” –John 8:12 (DHE Gospels)

You are the light of the world. A city that sits on the mountain will not be hidden, nor do people kindle a lamp just to put it under the bushel measure, but on the menorah, to illuminate all who are in the house. So also, shine your light before sons of men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your father who is in heaven. –Matthew 5:14-16 (DHE Gospels)

Just as we see the light of our Master and strive to imitate him by also becoming light, our Master did nothing on his own:

Then Yeshua said to them, “At the time you lift up the son of man you will know that I am he and that I do not do anything of myself. But as my Father has taught me, so I speak. The one who sent me is with me; the Father has not abandoned me to be alone. For I always do what is good in his eyes.” –John 8:28-29 (DHE Gospels)

Just as he was sent in the Name of the Father, now we are sent in the name of the Son. So we should do all that is good in His eyes, that we might become one with our Father in Heaven, that there might be peace in our homes and in “the Home”, and that the darkness may be dispelled by our light, and His light.

Note: Quotes from the Gospels were taken from the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels, Hebrew/English translation adapted and published by Vine of David from the original 1890 text, produced by Franz Delitzch and supervised of Gustav Dalman.

Quotes from Sotah 14a and John 8:28-29 were adapted from the First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) commentary on Torah Portion Ki Tavo, Imitating God.


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