"Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt - darkness that can be felt. So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days..... Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived." - Exodus 10:21-23 (NIV)
When thick, palpable, complete darkness descended upon the Egyptians, I wonder why none of them seemed to notice that the Children of Israel had light. Perhaps Egypt's plague of darkness was really a plague of arrogance - a stubborn refusal to look for light among the people to whom the Egyptians felt superior.
How many of us stumble in the darkness because we can see no light outside of ourselves?
America may be a city set on a hill, but in order to see the light, we will certainly have to look down the hill to see the light that lesser nations have been forced to hide under a basket.
A county clerk in Georgia believed that according to established tradition, marriage licenses should never be extended to gay couples. But after the Supreme Court decision, a lesbian couple came to the clerk's office to apply for a marriage license. After listening to the 13-year struggle of this couple for the legal recognition of their union, the clerk was moved to rekindle the passion for her own marriage.
If the religious rulers who decided to stone Stephen had looked into his face they would have seen a light of glory that would have made them drop their rocks of condemnation.
And if the Egyptians . . . engulfed in darkness . . . had opened their eyes to the value of Hebrew life, they would have been enlightened by the light of liberation.
Lord, help us to see the Light. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.