Psalm 27:1 “The Lord Is My Light”
Listen to: Children of Uganda & others,
"Siyahamba/We Are Marching in the Light of God"
Light is one of those countless wonders we take for granted. We wake up and there is sunlight. We feel the heat of the sun’s rays on our skin throughout the day. For those of us enjoying the summer season, we notice the growing plants as they come to full bloom. This complex process of photosynthesis could not happen without light. Light enables us to find our way in the world. Light gives us boundaries of activity and rest. The non-sighted person can still appreciate light’s property of warmth, shifts in the day’s movement and how light supports life.
It is not surprising that God is often described with the metaphor of Light. 1 John 1:5 writes: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” When we stand in the light of God we are able to see the world around us. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 119:105, reminds us that God’s presence, and the scriptures, give us the ability to make our way throughout our day with love, kindness, patience and thoughtfulness toward others. As God’s light warms our hearts, so we warm the lives of others.
Now, I do not pretend to understand the science behind photosynthesis or light refraction (what happens when light bends when it hits a medium). My days of middle-school science are a life-time ago. However, this I know. We have a God whose energy can set off a transformation in our souls that causes us to come alive and bloom. This “God-synthesis” is necessary for us to be fully human and fully alive. God’s light, freely transmitted to us, triggers this growth within us. We do, however, have a choice. It is up to each of us to examine if God’s light is cultivating our lives or if our lives are trapped in the spiritual darkness of the world, which acts as a counterfeit light? (Isa. 9:2, Matt. 4:16, Eph. 5:8, 1 Peter 2:9).
If I understand correctly, light refraction happens when light waves hit a different medium, i.e., water droplets, glass, etc., and are forced to bend or change direction. As a result “This bending by refraction makes it possible for us to have lenses, magnifying glasses, prisms and rainbows.”The ancient image of the rainbow, is a symbol of hope and unity that captures light refraction at its most beautiful. We see in the rainbow the colors of light revealed after a storm: unified in anarc over the place of trial. Beauty emerges from struggle.
Perhaps we can consider Jesus as a refraction of the inapproachable light of God (1 Timothy 6:16). Jesus called himself “the light of the world,” and that those who followed him would “have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus, light in flesh, makes visible the colors of love in his caring and teaching. In turn, Jesus professes to us: “you are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). So we too, reflect, refract and enact the light and love of God. We do this as we follow the teachings of Jesus and build up the kindom of God on earth. So Jesus acts like a good pair of glasses. He corrects our spiritual eyesight to perfect vision so we see where we need to grow and how we need to act to be light in our world.
Prayer: God of Light: Correct our vision so we will see as you see, and be the light you have created us to be.”