” Then God said: Let there be light and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good.”  Genesis 1:3

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”  John 1:4

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven”  Matthew 5:16

Recently I had the blessing of again experiencing the natural wonders that Our Heavenly Father sees fit to provide to us every day.  It is that time of year where it is easy to be out when the sun is rising (two things make this a great time of year, the temperature is not too cold and I don’t have drag myself out of bed at 0 dark thirty) and to see the glorious transformation of the new day.

It was on one of those walks when a particularly fascinating aspect of light and a greater illustration to life played out.  It began with very little color.  There was the just a hint of light, enough to illuminate that there were clouds in the sky but most everything was either dark, colorless, or white light.  Then, as the sun rose (okay science types, as the earth rotated, altering the observer’s angle) the colors started to be revealed.  The cloud bases started to take on a soft orange glow that grew more vibrant and red as time passed.  The sky behind went from white to a stunning turquoise blue.  Then within a few minutes time, the red changed to a spectacular golden explosion just as the sun was making its appearance.  It seemed, if you listened closely, you could hear trumpets loudly proclaiming the magnificence of the coming day.  Shafts of golden light were piercing the gaps between clouds and the sky seemed like some gold filled temple reaching from horizon to horizon.  It was breathtaking.  Yet, it was also brief.  The sun moved (that is the earth rotated).  The clouds soon lost their golden glow, some becoming white and others turning to a dirty, gray, pale shadow of their past glory.

Several things struck me at that point.  First, a humbling recognition that nothing man made could ever come close to approaching the majesty and profound beauty I had just witnessed.  I felt a tremendous need to give praise and thanks.  Secondly, I paused and looked at the now grey clouds for a moment.  There astonishingly quick transformation puzzled and troubled me.  For the sun was still there, but the clouds no longer reflected its light in the triumphant manner they had just a moment ago.  They were just dull gray clouds, traveling along on the wind.

Of course to ascribe triumph to the clouds is the height of anthropomorphic thought.  After all, the clouds have no choice in the matter.  We, on the other hand, have a choice and that choice is the basis for our very life itself.

Jesus Christ is the light of heaven.  Jesus Christ came down from heaven to bring His light to us.  We can choose to be in the dark.  To be dark and live as if dark is the way to be.  Better yet, we can see the Light.  We can see Jesus Christ as the Light of heaven, sent by Our Heavenly Father as a path to light our way to Him.  Though, I believe, there is still something more we are to do with the Light if we are in the Light.  We are to shine the light.  We, like the clouds, are to let the light penetrate us, change us from dark and pale to shining and glorious.  We are to display the possibilities that the Light brings with it.

We do have to be careful.  For the enemy hates that Light and will do all possible to block it.  He will try to have us live in darkness.  Failing that, if we recognize the light, he will try to convince us that the light has no impact for us.  Finally and I think most dangerously, if we decide to accept the Light, Satan will try to convince us that it is completely our own light; self generated and self contained, we have no need to give thanks for what is totally ours to begin with.

We are not the Light.  But we can, in fact we are invited to, live in the Light.  The Light is God’s Love for us, freely given and more than sufficient to meet every need and fulfill our God given dreams.  The sun sets, but the Son never does.  Jesus Christ has promised to never take His Light from us.  He only asks that we live in it.  We are fallen and it is inevitable that the light will shine on some dark things.  Jesus Christ tells us that is the plan.  The dark can not hide from the Light and the sins it uncovers have already been paid for.  Paid for by the flesh and blood sacrifice of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The phrase “go to the light” is often used as a metaphor for the journey from this earthly life to the next.  Yet we don’t have to wait until at our earthly life’s end to use that phrase.  Going to the Light will always bring life, no matter at what age.  Once in the Light, may we then become beacons in the dark for those lost and weary travelers, helping to guide them to their Heavenly Port.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, as the one whom you sent to make ready the path for Your Son Jesus Christ, John proclaimed, we also acknowledge, we are not the light.  Yet we praise You that You are Light and that You saw fit to send Light to us in the form of Jesus Christ Your Son.  Thank you Most Merciful Father for giving us the heart and the spirit to recognize the Light and to come into His presence.  Help us Dear Father to live and take the light into ourselves, as well as also shine the light for others, declaring to them the blessings of the Light of Jesus Christ.  That in living in the Light and shining the Light we would live a life of praise to Your Most Holy Name we pray.  In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen