Genesis 1: 14-19
And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
The Light has come into the World! Actually, if you remember the first day of Creation, there was light. You know…”Let there be light!” And there was. The first day God created light in the midst of the darkness. But here…here God creates more light, putting light even in the midst of the darkness. Notice that the darkness was not extinguished. Perhaps it is there to make us look toward the light. God did not snuff out the darkness; God rather gave us a light to navigate through it.
And now…in this Easter season, we are told that Jesus is the light of the world. Now, notice here that the claim is not that Jesus HAS the light; it is that Jesus IS the light. What does that mean to “be” light? Light means life. Light signifies life-giving power. Think, for a moment, of the everyday miracle we know as photosynthesis. In photosynthesis light means life. In the presence of light, green plants convert water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into carbohydrates and oxygen. If there would be no light, there would be no photosynthesis. If there would be no photosynthesis, there would be no life. Light means life.
So Jesus is not just saying that he has brought light. Jesus is saying that he, God, the great I AM, IS life. But light’s value is not just unto itself. In all honesty, light, alone, is rather useless. Its true worth comes to be in its effect on everything around it. Its true value is in the way that it illumines and clarifies the world in which we live. Jesus’ intention, too, was not to come into the world as a blinding, white light but, rather, as a warm, illuminating presence that shines toward God and enables us to see the world the way we are intended to see it—all the world—the darkness, the light, and the shadows in our lives that constantly play between those two poles.
Edith Wharton said that “there are two ways of spreading light—to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” God is the candle, the firstborn light of Creation, the light of the world. We are called to go into the world and be light by reflecting God’s light even into the deepest crevices of the earth. Do not fear the darkness. In all truth, the darkness would not be if the light were not so bright. The two are inseparable. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world…” With Jesus, God re-created Light not to rid the world of darkness but to show us how to walk through it.
So, go, in the Name of Christ, and be light!
Grace and Peace,