Sunday 22nd March
Dularcha National Park is located between the townships of Landsborough and Mooloolah. The eastern section of the park covers the former route of the North Coast Railway. Included in the Park is a heritage listed railway tunnel. This tunnel was completed in 1891 during a time when the North Coast Railway was being developed, and was abandoned in 1932 when the railway was realigned to the east.
There is a track through this part of the Park which is used by walkers, horse riders and bicyclists. What makes this track fascinating is that it involves travelling through the tunnel. Although this tunnel isn’t very long, it is recommended that you take a torch with you if you are walking through it. You can use the light of the torch to illuminate the fine brickwork that forms the sides and the ceiling of the tunnel. There is a remote possibility that a snake may be on the ground or that an animal may be lurking in the darker parts of the tunnel, and the light of the torch will enable you to see them in time to avoid them if they represent a safety risk. There is also the potential of tripping on a loose stone or on uneven ground, and the light of the torch will highlight any such obstacles. But, most importantly, as you walk through the tunnel it pays to be quiet so that you can hear the ‘chirping’ of the large footed myotis bats that roost in the holes and crevices in the ceiling, and the light of the torch will enable you to see these very small bats.
The light of the torch enables you to see all of these things. If you do not have the light to guide you, you will be ‘blind’ to the dangers and the risks, as well as being ‘blind’ to the beauty and the delights.
In today’s Gospel reading from John 9, we read of Jesus calling himself “the light for the world”. In one respect, Jesus, as “the light”, reveals the dangers and the risks of “the World” around us, and of the temptations that it poses for believers. On the same theme, Paul reminds the Church in Rome that “to be controlled by Human nature results in death” (Romans 5: 6a) . Jesus, as “the light”, also reveals the beauty and delights of close fellowship with God. On the same theme, Paul explains that “if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God.” (Romans 5: 10a) .
R Tasker, in his Commentary on the Gospel of John, makes the comment that, in this passage, we understand that “Jesus can open the eyes of the spiritually blind so that they can receive the complete sight which constitutes perfect faith. Faith means passing from darkness to light; and to bring people this faith, to give them the opportunity of responding when the Holy Spirit draws them to God, is the primary purpose for which Jesus has been sent into the World.” (p123)
Praise be to God that He did not leave us in our state of ‘blindness’ and separation from Himself, but worked His will and His purpose for the World so that we could get back to a right relationship with Him. So, as Paul encouraged the Church in Rome, let us not continue to live in the darkness, but rejoice in living in the light.