November 2, 2010

Thoughts of Light: εγω ειμι το φως του κοσμου

A Parasite of Light

"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."
John 8:12

I was sitting thinking about days back in my childhood. Camping in the back yard. My parents would occasionally look out in the night to see if we were alright and I would stare back and see the glow of the house lighting coming from behind the silhouette of mom or pop. Light from inside the house always looked warm and inviting. The dark outside of the house usually felt cold and uninviting at that point. It wouldn't be long before I had thrown in the hat and bailed out of the dew saturated canvas tent that reeked of mothballs and sprinted for the house to sleep in my comfy bed. When you open the door to home the light tumbled out in radiant waves and pervaded the darkness but the darkness did not invade the house. The same works going the opposite way. You are standing is a dark room at noon and open the door to the sunshine outside the door. The sunlight enters the house but the darkness of the room cannot exit. The light overpowered the outer darkness. The light had control. Why? Because the darkness was not a "thing" or "something" it was an absence of something, an absence of light. It is what I have unaffectionately dubbed an ontological parasite...something that gets its existence or being from feeding parasitically off of something that does exist. Justice is injustice's host. Death is a siphon off of life. Love is bled by hate. Unrighteousness is the leech hanging on righteousness. Lies, deceptions and deliberate mistruths are an absence of truth just as a shadow is an absence of light. When the light comes to bear on the darkness, darkness is no more. Light advances and darkness flees. Evil and darkness are the correlating enemy and parasite of The Light but the light always overcomes the darkness. Always...thank God.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5

Light Gives Meaning To The World

A man is walking in the woods at midnight. He needs to know where he is at. He takes a flashlight and a map. The man shines the light on the map. Light determines and gives meaning to the things in the darkness. With a small pinpoint of light this man can now figure out where he is at based on the map and landmarks. Through light we can see what otherwise would have no meaning as it is obscured in darkness and hidden from the eyes of sentient beings like humans.

Even in the darkness of night, just a little light can cast shadow. That small pinpoint of light will radiate in the darkness for a mile. Even if their are trees blocking the direct light the afterglow of the flashlight would "walk" around objects blocking it and people would still see it from a distance. But if a man had a "darkness flashlight" or should I say "darklight" in the noonday sun how far do you suppose the darkness from that "darklight" would travel at noon in an open field? It wouldn't. It would absorb light. Hold a piece of black paper in noon day sun and what happens? Shining no light or an absence of light would shine nothing, it would actually absorb or try to consume the light. In the act of absorbing light in an attempt to consume it, the dark is itself consumed.

Light Comes Differently For Different People

Light comes to different people, in different quantities at different times. As I write this post in the early evening in Pennsylvania, United States. I watch the sun begin to set. I think about how my recent days have been tough and emotionally draining. Things have gotten dark recently. Things have been tough. At the same time I know that the sun is just now coming up on New Zealand and Australia. Somewhere, other than here the light is dawning on a new day, a new hope and a new beginning for someone. A chance to change someone's life. Life is good for that person right now. I know that the light will dawn for me also in the morning after the night is over and when the light dawns on me perhaps darkness will set in for others somewhere else.

"...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalms 30:5

Light Comes To Us

Starlight travels. It travels so far for so long that it can reach across years. Some light coming from stars that we looked at on those nights when were camping had left the star they came from the day Christ was born. It didn't reach our retinas until that evening in July 1979. Give or take a decade that light pierced endless darkness for 1979 years to reach me so that I could see it that summer when I was a 10 year old. Light from a star created from matter that was spoken into existence by the very One that was born that night that those photons left that star.

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" Psalms 8:3

"By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host." Psalm 33:6

"He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names." Psalms 147:4

The Light Will Be Light Forever

That star and those memories are enduring and indelible in my mind, stored in my memory. When I think about that star I am again using a form of light or compressed energy to process that thought. Electrical current. I have reproduced those memories on this blog which is also being produced as light in your back lite or TFT computer screen. This in turn is either making you turn away in droves because of the nostalgic nature of this post or it is making synapses fire in and subsequently lighting up thoughts in your brain making you recall some starry night in your childhood. A night where you were staring up into a moonless night gawking at the depth and beauty of God's universe. Perhaps it was that same night that I was looking up in July 1979? Gawking with a sense of awe, not because you were a child but because the universe was THAT big and THAT awesome. Do you still have a sense of awe? Is the universe still THAT BIG of a place for you? It is for me.

To me, Jesus Christ is that Light and the Bible corroborates this many times. It is this brilliant, gleaming and holy light that gives me a hope that defies words or my ability with my vocabulary to describe it fully. May God be glorified through this post and may it shed light on His greatness.

"There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." Revelation 22:5

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