It’s All About the Light

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-5, 9-14

20190822-DSC09549-Pano

Late afternoon light shines on this small island inhabited by seals in Las Paz, Mexico. August 2019

It’s all about the light. Early morning sun kissing a field of Texas wildflowers, or breaking through the clouds over the Gulf of Mexico is the making of great photographs. Take away the light and you have no photo. But go into the darkroom and the tables are turned. It’s still all about the light, but it’s about keeping the light away from the film as you load it into the developing tank. It’s all about controlling the way the light falls onto the photo paper under the enlarger.

Yes, it’s all about the light. It’s not about the darkness. Darkness cannot overcome light. Light invades darkness. Darkness cannot invade light. Darkness is the absence of light. Jesus describes the place of eternal judgment as a place of outer darkness. Where Jesus is not present, no true light shines.

There are times, however, when light can be glaring. Intrusive. Distracting. Overbearing. Like being in front of a high-riding pickup truck whose headlights just manage to find that spot in your rearview mirror. Not welcome at all.

Sometimes people make the light of Jesus into a glaring, intrusive, overbearing, and distracting thing. In that case, however, they are not shining the true light of Jesus. For he is full of grace and truth. To blind someone with the truth of God’s word without the love of God is a glaring intrusion. To shine a rosy light on sin and godlessness is deceptive and not truly loving.

But when the light of Jesus’ love shines upon the truth of our need we see a picture of true grace and gracious truth: the stuff of faith, hope, and love. Such is the soft and gentle light of the spiritual birthing room of God’s kingdom into which we, his children, have been born. It’s all about the light.

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