The appropriateness of the theme of Jesus, light of the world, was not lost on me as I faithfully brought light to my little world with a flip of the switch. (Yes, I kept most of those lights lit all day most days, and half of most nights too. It has been that dark.)
Or so I thought.
Which brings me to this morning. The world was still reposing in deepest darkness. No moon was shining, and the stars were cloud shrouded again, but I was abruptly wide awake, and my room was washed in a warm glow. What?
Bright enough to wake me up. And, oddly enough, it didn’t bother me. My heart said almost immediately – oh, the light!
What a remarkable difference one candle makes.
Just one candle.
My room, my little world had been wrapped in darkness, and one candle with a 4 watt bulb blazed forth, and the darkness disappeared, swallowed up in light.
And it was good. Very, very good.
I got up, found my camera, took a few pictures, poured coffee and settled in at my desk.
And thought about the light. My mind returned to these verses I had pondered recently, marvelous words about the gift of light, and its source, the One in whom there is no darkness at all.
God who said, Let light shine out of darkness
has shone in our hearts
the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay
that the surpassing power
belongs to God
and not to us.
has now made His light shine in my heart. I can hardly grasp that He would do this, that He would take this kind of interest in bringing light not just to earth, but to this one earthbound heart, mine.
This is the treasure, the gift, He has given us, has given me. I can know the reality of His glory (oh, shiny!) in the face of Jesus Christ. This light giving, life giving one is present, Presence, in my dark little world every single day.
Then there is this odd little caveat, this description of me, of all of us as sons of Adam, daughters of
Eve in case we’ve lost track of truth:
we are clay pots.
We are from the earth, perishable, and certainly not transparent. And while I’ve never actually been in a clay pot, I’ll bet it’s dark in there. Just like it’s dark in me, in you, in all of us.
He who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” is still saying it.
He shines His light into our clay pot hearts and says, “Let light shine out of darkness.”
What could ever shine through a clay pot?
Nothing. It’s not possible.
And yet, we shine, we who live with the daily reality of the face of Jesus, the Presence, in our earth bound lives.
Sometimes not all that well at all.
And certainly not continually.
And yet…the Light does manage to break through/transcend our little clay pot lives.
Sometimes you shine.
Sometimes I shine.
And only God could make that happen.
It is his all surpassing power – all surpassing as in glorious, extraordinary, super-eminent – the Greek word here is “huperbole,” from which “hyperbole” is derived. It is an adjective that means waaaay beyond. So it is that “beyond measure” power which shines through us.
That power doesn’t belong to us; it’s not of us; it's not from us.
For this day.
Let light shine out of darkness.