I’m fascinated with light. Isn’t everyone? The embers of the summer campfire burn down and I can’t look away… neither can my kids. Our family hiked another section of the Appalachian Trail this summer. Amongst the dozens of ways the sun and moon throw light on the mountains, I wouldn’t be able to choose a favorite. Maybe the morning sun as it invades the pines at a slant, cuts through the fog making bright smoke beams. If you forced me, I’d choose that just barely over how the mountaintop sunset causes the distant mountains to change colors several times within the span of an hour.
I’m no less fascinated by manufactured light. I was at a friend’s ranch this summer and he had some really powerful flashlights. They sliced through the darkness for hundreds of yards. They felt like weapons. We went to a HIllsong United concert a few weeks back. They pulled off some new light maneuvers I hadn’t seen. At one point, the room was pitch black, and the entire stage was surrounded by large can lights, all white, facing straight up. It was like the band was in a jail cell of light, impenetrable. Also, the thing they do at stadium events these days when everyone turns on their cell phone light all at once. As much I have a love/ hate relationship with the cell phone–I’m a sucker for that move. It’s a powerful visual metaphor for a deeper reality.
In my intro at Opening Night last week (you can watch the whole event here), I confessed I’m still a little afraid of the dark. And, for the record, men, that was a bit of a rhetorical move, I don’t want you to be concerned. The darkness is real. But as much as the darkness continues to concern me (think of the look on Gandalf’s face in the scenes when he ponders the dangerous road ahead), the light mesmerizes me.
It was our creator’s very first move. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters in the dark and at a distinct point in time, he said his first, “let there be.” It was light first. On a later day, he created light sources. He commissioned one of them to “run its course with joy” as a testament to us. There is a light source in the sky that supplies what we need to make it through the day–light and heat. It never takes a day off. We never, ever doubt it’s going to do its job. We can’t look directly at it or it would blind us. We know it’s there, we see it indirectly, and we reap its benefits in all sorts of ways that we take for granted.
It doesn’t take much light to undo the darkness. Plug in the little night light, and your boy can sleep in peace. Darkness is pervasive, but light is potent. John tells us the Light is the very life of men.
We have over 500 potential light-bearers at TCS this year. If they surrender to Jesus, the promise of the indwelt Spirit will produce the light and life that John speaks of in their very souls. We will pray and sow towards students who will bear the Light. Then, we will work to cut them loose on a dark world that the glory of God will shine, shine, shine among men.