In my under-heated apartment last week, it was a two-cat day. I read the Psalms with two blankets around me and two cats on top of me to keep warm as I read.
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).
Look at it closely; God is not just providing light. Because of the light that God has created, and now is, we are able to see light everywhere.
All that we see is because God is. Light warms us, comforts us, gives us life. Our food is in its essence life reaching toward light. God spoke light into being, and so we have our being.
Yet the days are dark now in Russia. For a few more days, each night will grow longer still. The darkness seems to overwhelm, and the cold and ice are daunting. The news has a particular horror—the newest school shooting took 28 lives, including one lost soul who may have sought posthumous fame in the deaths of many children and those who loved them. We all grieve, and wonder what could have gone so terribly wrong.
We have many answers, and, therefore, too few. As Paul said, “we see as through a glass, darkly.” A more modern translation has Paul’s words as, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face” (I Cor:13:12). I’ve always thought the old translation was more apt.
Although we humans may see it differently, and darkly, there is God’s reality; it exists and is forever, even if we perceive it only “through a glass, darkly.” The post-moderns, who talk about “your reality” and “my reality” all have it slightly wrong. There is one Truth, there is one Light; there is a way through this darkness.
It’s been that way since the beginning, and I mean the very first beginning. Whether earth was created 4,000 years ago or four billion, God created light, and it was good. The humans that God created in the Garden were capable of straying from the light, though, and did so soon.
There is a persistent element in human nature that Job described:
“There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths” (Job 24:13).
We are capable of dark choices. But there is more.
God not only created light, and is light, but we perceive light because God is. This Light always was, and always will be. Also in the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt for awhile among us. Jesus was the Word, and he is also Light: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” It is no wonder we celebrate his birth in the longest nights of the year, when we see darkness the longest.
In grieving, let us choose light and life. In the light we will pray, and in the light we will know what to do, to make sure the Newtown outrage was the very last time. In the meantime, we can be certain in the one who said,“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Note: This will be sent as one of the updates Johan and Judy Maurer regularly email about their lives in Russia. If you would like to receive these updates, please let them know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributed by Judy Maurer, Reedwood Friends