Jan. 3, 2018 — Liquid Light
As a boy growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, Robert Louis Stevenson, the 19th-century author of classic books including Treasure Island, was intrigued by the work of the old lamplighters who went about with a ladder and a torch, setting the street lights ablaze for the night. One evening, as he stood watching out the window with fascination, his parents asked him, “Robert, what in the world are you looking at out there?” He exclaimed with great excitement, “Look at that man! He’s punching holes in the darkness!”
As we make our way into the new year, Jesus’ words bear the same power and imperative. To Trinity, as a worshipping community in Greenwich and Darien, whether at work or at school, as friends or spouses or co-workers, in whatever places we find ourselves each week, Jesus would remind us: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, NIV).
Jesus’ light is the light that cannot be overcome by the darkness.
His light is magnetic — it draws people to Him.
His is the light that we are dressed in, wrapped in light as with a garment [Psalm 104:1-2].
His is the light we are strengthened and fortified in [Romans 13:12].
His is the armor of light.
His is the light in which our healing will quickly appear.
His is the light that punches holes in our own darkness.
His light irradiates us; it sustains us and illuminates us from the inside.
By His light we have life.
Far from being a static, fixed fluorescent monument, this is the light of God who is in us and with us — a living, advancing, luminous, incandescent, radiant movement! And by the illuminating power of His Holy Spirit, we become a kind of “liquid light” — a light that seeps into all areas of our lives and pours from us as we share the light of His grace with others.
God has filled us with His glorious light, and we are called to be living participants in the invasion of darkness through word and deed. With reference to Robert Louis Stephenson’s “punching holes in the darkness,” Richard Alvey wrote, “When we choose to forgive those who have hurt us; when we sacrifice our comfort and resources to help others in need; when we pray for those who despise us or hate us; when we take time to listen, really listen; when we let go of worry and instead praise God; when we offer kinds words in return for harsh words, we are… punching holes in the darkness!”
In The Message, Eugene Peterson captured Jesus’ words in this way: “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 5:14-16).
Let us take Ephesians 5:8 to heart in this new year: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
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