Did you know that the sky isn’t actually blue? It appears blue because our atmosphere is filled with tiny gas molecules and particles like nitrogen and oxygen and dust. When blue lightwaves from the sun bounce of these tiny particles, they reflect back the color blue, and we see the blue sky. Without the light from the sun these particles are colorless and invisible to the naked eye. But when they are bathed in the light of sun they are made visible & the sunlight can be seen as well.
We don’t see light itself. We only see what light illuminates. And when we see what light has illuminated, we become aware that light is present.
And in a strange way, we human beings have a similar relationship with our Creator.
When we choose to surrender ourselves to God’s light, our lives are bathed in more color and meaning and purpose than we could ever hope to produce on our own. And our surrendered lives, reflecting back the love and grace and mercy we have received, are the primary way God has chosen to reveal His presence to this world.
My Grandma was born in 1918 in a small farming town in Indiana. She remembered the evening when electricity came, for the very first time, to Main Street. The whole town came out to watch as the street lamps flickered on and light flooded the darkened streets. And everything changed. People stayed up later, studied into the night, walked the streets, gathered in homes and pubs into the once-dark hours.
Everything changed because we organize our lives around light.
St John said that Jesus is the true light that has come into the world (John 1:8), meaning, of course, that there are also false lights — other sources of hope and purpose around which we choose to organize our lives. And we reflect back the light of whatever it is we have gathered around.
When your family sees you, when your co-workers see you, what light are you reflecting back to them? What have you organized your life around? The light of their opinion? The flickering lights of human politics or religion? The hollow light of chasing entertainment, of living for the weekend? The deceptive light of your own self-opinion? The trailing light of money, career, ambition?
Or does your light come from a deeper place? Are you aware that through Jesus God’s approval of you is complete and absolute? That your hope is firm and secure, not affected by public opinion, not contingent on your own perceived successes or failures.
Here is truest reality, according to scripture: You are a child of the King. You carry the light of God’s love and grace into every place you find yourself. So wake up. Stay alert. Keep in the true light because the darkness around us is deep (William Stafford). And you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as a child of light. (Ephesians 5:8)