Friday, November 30, 2012

Bring on the Light!



“I am the light of the world. 
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” 
John 8:21

The days have been dark and gray.  We have had a lot of rain, and the sun rarely shines through.  The winds blow through the mountains and glens with a startling ferocity.  The birds at my feeders hunker down on the rocks that surround the raised beds, and I try to keep the feeders full.  The pigeons pick about the ground, trying to nab any seeds that have fallen from the feeders.  The finches hang on for dear life as the feeders swing in the wind.  These days have a kind of fury to them.

The ancients also stood in awe of storms.  Storms were a very real manifestation of God’s power.  In Jeremiah 10:12-13, we read:

“But God made the earth by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom
    and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”

The wind and the rain become not only messengers of Who God is, and of His immense power, but also of His wisdom.  The rain nourishes the land; lightning strikes put nitrogen into the soil and wind is the engine for our weather. 

But storms can also be a metaphor for the uncertainty for the future.  The dark clouds looming over the horizon become messengers as well:  What is on the way?  Their very presence can cause us to fear:  will what is coming be terrible?  Will we get through it?  Where is the Lord in all of this?

The other night, while dark clouds stormed across the sky, I saw an amazing sight:  right over our tallest mountain was glorious splash of sunlight, in bright pinks and oranges…just one small area contending with the dark blues and the iron grays.  What a contrast!  The oranges and pinks seemed even brighter and more alive, given the surroundings.  Then it hit me…when Jesus said that He is the Light of the world, He wasn’t adding His light to the light already there…He is THE Light when the deep blues and grays have captured the sky and darkness looms.  He is all the brighter because of the surrounding darkness and His Light is not overwhelmed.   
 

We will face dark days.  That is certain.  His Light will be all the brighter and we will need it more than ever before.  Let His words really take hold of your heart today:  “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” 

And then what does that lead to?  His Light in us becomes even more light to bring to a stormy world:  “You are the light of the world.”  (Matthew 5:14)  We, not because of who we are, but because of Who He is, will shine and bring light.  We may be a candle, or a city on a hill, but no matter…light is light, and we are part of His great recall of the darkness.  
  
Look to the One Who is Light:  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  (James 1:17)

Prayer
Lord of the Light:  We need the Light of Your love, presence and peace more than ever…the storm clouds loom on the horizon.  Your Light pierces the darkness with its reassuring warmth, reminding us that You are here.  Because of Your Light, we can go out and light our world, however large or small it may be.  In Your Name that is Above All Names, amen.

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