Even when the darkness seems great, a small flicker can become a beacon of hope.
This is what I have felt in the last few days as the world has had to face the Coronavirus pandemic.
There are so many questions and not enough answers. There are seem to be an insurmountable number of obstacles and not enough avenues of escape. If we are not careful, we can turn our backs on the only source of hope available to us because there seems to be so much darkness around.
I have often wondered what it means that Jesus is the light of the world. And by extension, that we are the Church, a city on a hill. These metaphors are related. They share the same purpose but have different functions. As the city, we reflect the light that emanates from the source, Jesus the Messiah. We do not possess light of our own. It is a borrowed splendor. Something that we should never confuse, but many times end up doing.
The apostle Paul offered one of the most remarkable descriptions of Jesus every captured in the Scripture. He said to the Corinthians, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Two questions emerge here. When did God say this? He said it when the earth was formless and void. In the beginning, there was nothing in all of creation that reflected his goodness, but he said, “Let there be light,” and out of himself, light shone forth.
But the wondrous mystery is this. What was the nature of that light? It was Jesus himself. Jesus is the light that God sent into the world at creation. And he is the light that entered into the world at his incarnation. This is what light does. It changes the very definitions we use to describe the work of God. God sends forth light and we look upon Jesus’ face.
In this light, there is the knowledge that transforms our minds and glory that inspires worship. But in order to see both of these there needed to be light.
Light is what reminds us that darkness is not a thing with its own substance. It is merely the absence of something. For when the light shines, darkness flees.
In this season of Lent, let us look toward the light. Let us remember that the darkness does not linger when the light shines. Let hold fast to the promise that in God, “the Father of light,” there is no shadow of turning, and from Son shines a light that removes the fear of the night.