Grace and Peace to you!
As we celebrated the Baptism of Our Lord on January 10th, these words were in our First Reading: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Gen. 1:1-3)
It’s hard for me to imagine such a place, where things are not able to be seen or be heard or be held. But that is where God began the creative work of calling everything into existence. The Bible tells us that, In the darkness and formlessness, God began by speaking light into existence. Once light was then in the world, God proceeded to put the world in order and shape all that is into being.
Light is so important, so critical to the rest of creation! It enables us not only to see and to work with and within God’s creation, but it is also necessary for all things to grow. Creation without light would not be complete.
God created us to have Light in us as well. Our hands and our voices, our emotions and our thoughts are meant to be means through which the Light of God shines through to people living in the world. We can read in Genesis of how humanity was made in the image of God. We, as Christians, believe we are created in the image of God so that God would be reflected in us and come shining out to others through us.
In his second letter to the Corinthian Christians, Paul uses the beginnings of creation to compare what God does with us. He compares the human heart to the darkness of the un-formed Creation, only Scriptures say that it is even worse than that. Not only can the human heart be un-formed and dark in a chaotic sense; that people without the Light live without a purpose. A heart without the Light also has a certain wickedness to it where it can openly and willfully produce dark and evil things.
Paul speaks of this darkness to help us remain aware of its existence. Paul reminds us to be vigilant in looking at the Light of Christ that is in each Christian; that we continue to share the Light of the world.
Many people have a fear that if people really knew who they are that others would mock them or not love them; or maybe never speak with them anymore. Sadly, this is why so many will shut themselves off from others. Unfortunately, often the result is that in doing so we also limit the Light that we have been given and refrain from sharing that Light.
But we don’t need to fear that this would happen with Jesus. He’s different. He already knows all about who you are and all of what you’ve done. And still, Jesus does the most shocking thing of all – he doesn’t walk out. He continues to wrap you completely in his love and forgiveness as he always promised he would. He did this on the cross for each of us.
As we conclude this Season after the Epiphany and begin our Lenten journey this February, may the light of Christ continue to shine in your hearts and then out into the world.
5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who 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 4:5-6 (NRSV)