Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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Please read John 1.
How I long for the shorter, warm summer nights. It seems the sun goes down earlier and earlier. Yes, the days are getting longer. We are past the winter solstice, but it seems the winter is especially long and cold despite the strengthening sun. Light is what we need. It is light that strengthens us. It is light that warms us to the soul. It is light that brings us hope. It is light that motivates us.
Are our wills any stronger than that of an insect, a moth? Are we not drawn to the light? Millions flock to Florida and warmer climes in the winter. Is it the cold or the dark they dread? Is there a difference? The snow blankets the mountains and all the landscape has become a magnificent reflector. Is it the thrill of skiing or the glare of the ice that brings them to the slopes? We hang lights on our homes in celebration of the holidays, but they are a poor substitute for the light we crave. We light a candle against the dark and sit in the silence staring into that flame—that flickering of yellow, orange and blue light.
Oh the warm summer nights! I don’t have to freeze when I take the dogs out for their walks. It is often still twilight. I am at the door. I have called my three dogs to go out outside. The young ones whine and bark. They mill around me impatiently waiting to get outside. They have to go now! The old dog sits silently trying to stay out of the way. She is tired. The leashes are attached. The porch light is switched on. The door bursts open. I am pulled out into the warm humidity of summer. The dogs romp and wrestle on the lawn.
I am out for just a brief time. The porch light wields it power. Moths have already gathered and what I refer to as dumb, brown beetles. That’s all they are. They are just a brown beetle about the size of a pinto bean and not anymore attractive. I dread their presence. As I approach the door, several spin around the light. They are banging into it over and over again. I know that they will get into the house and crash themselves into the foyer light. When that light is turned out they will seek other lights to fly into repeatedly. Yes. Yes, I know that we humans are the ones who have destroyed their navigation with our artificial lights, but they still irritate me.
It is said that one is most irritated by those undesirable traits found in oneself. I seek out artificial lights to fill my needs. There is my procrastination and dawdling. I isolate myself from community. I waste time and fail to prioritize often distracted by the unimportant and unnecessary. My relationships and even my creativity suffer, but still I repeatedly bang my head against the artificial light. What about you? What artificial lights are you seeking to guide you? We all have some, I fear. It keeps us numb. It keeps us away from the true light and all that God has created us to be.
“All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being through him was life, and the life was the light all people.” (John 1:3-4 NRSV) The Word who was, is, and shall be. The Word who is God. The Word who has come into the world has created life and that life is light. Life-giving, soul-reviving light is the great gift that Jesus Christ has brought into the world. We gaze upon that light, and oh, it is lovely. It is ever transforming so that our gaze need not fall away. It is ever constant so that it never fades. It is ever sustaining so that we are not weary. Oh that beautiful, beloved light of Christ! That Light that is light that transforms us, assures us, and sustains us! Do you not see the beauty? It is there upon the cross where the light shines for us. The cross where the Light was lifted up for the world to see the breadth and depth of God’s love in Christ for all people, for us. It is for us and will never leave us. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5 NRSV)
That Light of Christ is Life. It is life lived in love. It is life lived in deep relationship with the other. It is life lived in creativity. It is life lived in giving. It is life lived in gracious receiving. It is life lived drawn to the Light that is our true, abundant life. Oh! That we would gaze deeply and steadily into that light that gives Life. It gives the life God created us to have. Look to the Light and live. Look to the Word of God shining brightly for you and have Life!
Pray for the will to look away from numbing lights and to the light of Christ.