Bible The Value of Light

The Value of Light

By Rebecca DeLucia, Next Generation Pastor

Over spring break last week my 5 year old nephew came to visit. We took him to the Planetarium and the show we saw was about two kids searching for answers about space. Questions ranged from, “How far away is the sun?” to “What is it like to be an astronaut?”  The final question they needed to answer was, “What makes Earth so special?” It cutely used the answers to other questions to discuss the temperature and distance from the sun, the amount of gravity and so on to answer that question. 
    “WOW, Aunt Bendy,” my nephew turned to me in a whisper, “We are so lucky to live on earth.” 
    WOW is right – but luck has nothing to do with it. This week we read the creation narratives in Genesis 1 and 2: God bringing forth life – intentional, purposeful, beautiful life. Life that would be impossible without light. 
    On Monday morning we read Genesis 1 – the first creation narrative has God creating, first and foremost, light. In the darkness there was chaos and disorder and then “Let there be light.” And there was and with it: order, stability, safety, productivity, potential. 
    On Monday afternoon we witnessed the eclipse, and whether you watched from your porch like we did or from the NASA live stream, it was an incredible sight to behold. We watched as the moon covered the sun causing the sky to grow darker and the air to become cooler. In that moment all I could think was, WOW, not only because of how perfectly God created but also because we witnessed first hand the importance of light. 
    Under the moonlit sky (or was it sunlit?) I walked to the library for a tutoring session. While we were learning about fractions the power went out.  We were no longer able to be productive and our potential for learning flew out the window. Additionally, the girl became scared and anxious; the stability and safety that she normally had was gone. I began walking her home and she said, “WOW, I am so glad the sun is starting to come back.” Light has intrinsic value. 
    But that is not the light we read of in Genesis 1:3; the sun, moon, and stars do not come until day 4, rather it is a different light altogether. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) It is in him, not in the sun or in electricity, that we find life: intentional, purposeful, beautiful life. When we are living without Christ we live in chaos and fear. But Jesus promises, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) 
    We read Genesis 3 together on Tuesday, so we know the world is not how it ought to be, it has fallen back into darkness – but there is no darkness that Christ cannot reach. And so, now, as people who live in the forever life giving light of Christ, we are called to be a beacon to others, guiding and showing them true light. To live lives that are so full they make people say, “WOW.” 

    “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

(Matthew 5:13-15, The Message

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