Friday, March 12, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I can't get Jesus' words "you are the light of the world" out of my mind. I woke up thinking about them this morning when it was still dark, and I could not go back to sleep. So I am going to do some mental rambling in this blog and see if some light is shed on the subject of light.

Jesus says that we are the light of the world. He says he is the light of the world. God is light and in him is no darkness at all. Our light is the light of the Father, for he says, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." The Father is praised - not us - because the light is God.

People place the light under a bowl or a basket. This is the image that replays itself in my mind - a picture of covered light. I imagine light streaming through the cracks in a basket, casting patterns of shadows on the walls and ceiling. Or light hidden under an earthen bowl, only visible through the crack where the bowl unevenly meets the stand - like the light that seeps around the edges of my bedroom window shade as dawn breaks.

Human beings are the light of God in earthen vessels - light kept in the dark. A lot of our time and effort is spent trying to keep the light covered. I read yesterday about the death of the actor Corey Haim, another young light snuffed out by the ravages of drug addiction. All of our addictions are ways to keep the lid on the light of God.

The light shines through the cracks in our defenses. We know that if it breaks through completely, we shall be no more. If God appears, we will disappear. For no one can see God and live, as God told Moses. So we are content with his backside.

We are shadows living in the shadowlands, afraid of light. We know that the light of God will snuff out the darkness of our egos. So we keep a lid on it in order to live a while longer in this land of shades.

There really is no need to keep light from shining. "Let your light shine." The play of shadows that we mistake for ourselves is nothing more than patterns of the basket cover projected on the wall.  We are the light - not the bowl, not the basket, not the lampstand, nor the shadows projected by the light. 
We are the light. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."

1 comment:

  1. Yes, our Lord Jesus is the light that our Father in Heaven wants us to reflect. I enjoyed your blog. May our Lord continue to work through you. God bless, Lloyd