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Let Your Light Shine

Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true (is realized) in Him and in you, because the darkness (moral blindness) is clearing away and the true Light (the revelation of God in Christ) is already shining.

1 John 2:8 AMP

As Christians, we straddle two worlds –
the “now” and the “not yet.”

We live in a world affected by the Fall. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. (Romans 8:20-21)

We are also citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. (Philippians 3:20-21)

The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. But in life’s experiences, those three characteristics are challenging at best.  The kingdom is here now and is yet to come.  

It seems easy sometimes to get caught up in life’s difficulties and forget that the true Light is already shining.  During this season of Lent, I am reminded of the sunlight in my soul vanquishing the tempter’s dark thoughts.  

“Darkness was and darkness was good. As with light. Light and Darkness dancing together, born together, born of each other, neither preceding, neither following, both fully being, in joyful rhythm.”

Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet

As dark and light dance freely in the quiet stillness before the Lord, that’s where I want to learn contentment. Then, maybe the light of my life, of your life, can shine before our peers so that they will see our good works and glorify our heavenly Father. Paul writes that we shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life.

candles shine in the darkness - representing Christians in our world.
Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay 

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night 

Philippians 2:14-16 MSG

This little light of mine, of yours … how will it shine today?

A Borrowed Blessing

Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life.

In the glare of neon times,
Let our eyes not be worn
By surfaces that shine
With hunger made attractive.

That our thoughts may be true light,
Finding their way into words
Which have the weight of shadow
To hold the layers of truth.

That we never place our trust
In minds claimed by empty light,
Where one-sided certainties
Are driven by false desire.

When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.

That the searching of our minds
Be equal to the oblique
Crevices and corners where
The mystery continues to dwell,
Glimmering in fugitive light.

When we are confined inside
The dark house of suffering
That moonlight might find a window.

When we become false and lost
That the severe noon-light
Would cast our shadow clear.

When we love, that dawn-light
Would lighten our feet
Upon the waters.

As we grow old, that twilight
Would illuminate treasure
In the fields of memory.

And when we come to search for God,
Let us first be robed in night,
Put on the mind of morning
To feel the rush of light
Spread slowly inside
The color and stillness
Of a found word.

John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us
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