The season of Lent is also the season of spring. The snow is gone – we hope! – and the world is coming back to life. The first flowers are peeping through, and the days are getting longer – less darkness and more light. Today’s Gospel links the ideas of light and life, when Jesus, speaking to the Jewish teacher Nicodemus, describes himself as the light that has come into the world, and as the one who brings eternal life for those who believe in him.
The light can make us uncomfortable. There are some parts of ourselves that we prefer to keep hidden. But we shouldn’t be afraid of the light. Jesus comes to bring mercy, not condemnation – life and not death. Israel’s dark time of exile ended when God showed mercy to his people. Now is the time for us to step out of the darkness of sin and sadness, into the light of God’s mercy.