Tuesday of Holy Week

Jesus is the Light

“Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  

John 8:12

“While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

John 12:36

One of the great joys I have is studying the night sky, the heavenly sights our Lord provides for all who are willing to look up.  A number of years ago as I was watching the International Space Station make its way overhead, my phone rang.  It was a parishioner who was outside looking for the ISS.  She described what she saw and asked if that bright object zipping across the sky was truly the station.  I assured her that it was.  She said, “It’s so bright!”  I asked her if she knew what it was she was looking at.  She stuttered a moment then said, “I’m not sure.”  “The station has no outside lighting,” I explained.  “What you are seeing is the Sun reflected off of the huge solar panels.”  All of the manmade objects in space and all of the planets are reflectors.  None of them produce their own light.  The Moon is probably the best example for us of the Sun’s power to be reflected.  We were reminded on Ash Wednesday that we are dust.  The Moon is simply a hunk of rock, and as we saw when the Apollo astronauts scooted about on the lunar surface, it is covered in dust.  The Moon has no brightness in itself, it can only reflect the light of the Sun.  But the Moon does reflect the Sun brilliantly.  It is the second brightest object in the sky after only the Sun itself.  We are dust, and we are called to reflect the light and glory of God.  We have no brightness in ourselves, but we can be, like the Moon, reflectors of God’s glory.

The secular world is mired in darkness, and has been for some time.  We have had two years of some of the most intense spiritual darkness in our lifetime.  But we don’t walk in darkness because we walk in Christ!  We are children of the light and have the Light of Life living in us.  And, though we are dust, we are reflectors of God’s glory and light.  Jesus said, “While you have the light, believe in the light.”  This is not call to an intellectual assent, it is a knitting of our hearts to the heart of the One who is the Light of the World.  It does no good to point out to others how dark things are around us.  They don’t need that reminder; they need the Light of Christ.  We are called to be bearers of the light.  We believe in the light in order to be sons of light, children who look like the one who has brought us to new life.  When in Him we are reborn, we become sons and daughters of the One who is Light Himself. 

In the early chapters of his prophecy, Isaiah prophesied to the Jews who were living in the dark and evil times before the exile.  The Lord had shown him what trials lay ahead for Israel.  But he was also a messenger of hope.  He prophesied, “The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame…” (Isaiah 10:17).  There is a message there for us in these trying times.  We can not kindle the fire.  We are not the light.  But the One who is the Light of the World, will kindle a flame in His People, and bring light to those who walk in darkness.  Isaiah also gives this exhortation, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God” (Isaiah 50:10). The only way out of the darkness is Jesus.  He is the Light.

We are the Body of Christ.  His Body is the Temple, and Jesus Himself is the one who brings light and life to that Temple.  He is the lamp, that eternal flame that burns night and day before the throne of God (Revelation 21:22-25).  Let us reflect that light that others may see their way through the darkness into the Light of God, that they too may know the Way and the Light of Christ.

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