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Posts Tagged ‘God is Light’

 

Christmas is indeed a season of light.

Candles glow and twinkling lights glimmer from houses, buildings, and trees.

People love all the flickering and shimmering!  Some spend weeks decorating their yards and rooftops in spectacles of illumination.  If you asked them why, they might be hard-pressed to express more than, “They’re beautiful!”

 

 

But perhaps it’s more than just aesthetics.  Perhaps it’s a heart-response.

Light is symbolic for:

  • Beauty.  Light grabs our attention, whether it’s sparkling and dazzling or soft and luminous.

 

 

  • Safety.  Where there is light, we can navigate through our surroundings.
  • Comfort.  A nightlight offers just that for many a child who is afraid of the dark.
  • Hope.  Light gleams triumphantly in the darkness at the end of a tunnel.
  • Guidance.  Light illuminates the way.

 

 

Might it be that people respond to light, especially when associated with Christmas, because the human spirit is made to respond to the Light?

Jesus came from the Father who is Light (1 John 1:5), and proclaimed, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12).

But that statement is more than symbolic.

God the Son is our safety, because he offers eternal life.

 

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;

no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

John 10:28-29

 

 

God the Father is our comfort, because he is loving and compassionate.

  

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

who comforts us in all our troubles.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4a

 

God the Son is our hope, because of his resurrectionWe will be raised from the dead because he was. 

 

“In his great mercy [God] has given us new birth

into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade—

kept in heaven for you.”

1 Peter 1:3b-4

 

 

God the Father is beauty, because of all his exquisite attributes.  And we have the opportunity to bask in that beauty.

 

“I’m asking God for one thing…

To live with him in his house my whole life long.

I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.”

Psalm 27:4  MSG

 

God the Father is guidance, characterized by wisdom, compassion, and readiness.

 

 

The Light of the world offers us all this and more.

I can’t imagine life without him, can you?

Let’s make time to linger in his Light during this Advent season.

 

 

Let’s be watchful for “Glory-moments, awash in his dazzling Light” (Sarah Young).

 

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How else might we expand our heart-response to Jesus?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Photo credits: http://www.pxhere.com; http://www.wikimedia.com; http://www.tOrangebiz; http://www.flickr.com; http://www.dailyverses.net; http://www.canva.com (3).

 

(Revised and reblogged from December 2, 2013.)

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You, oh God, are resplendent with light

As if full of fire—

Blazing with power, dazzling in majesty,

Shimmering in an aura of glory (1).

 

You are the Father of lights

the Creator of sun, moon, and stars.

From the moment You spoke them into being,

the heavenly lights have never ceased to shine (2).

 

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Neither has your Light of Goodness

Ceased to shine upon your people.

You are loving and patient, generous and gracious,

Always seeking the brightest, highest good (3).

 

You are the Light of my Salvation,

Showing me the way to heaven through your Son, Jesus,

Guiding me home through the twists and turns of life,

The dark shadows of uncertainty and fear (4).

 

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You are the Light of Life,

Providing Son-lit days of peace, joy, and contentment

As I avail myself of your calming presence,

And celebrate your gifts (5).

 

You are the Light of Truth,

Who graciously shares his omniscient wisdom with his people.

Through your Word you expose falsehoods and evil.

You show me the best way to live—side by side with You (6).

 

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You are the Light of Holiness

Pure and perfect, completely separate from all else in the universe.

Through Jesus you already see me as perfect,

Yet day by day you are molding me to be holy, like you (7).

 

You are the Light of Blessing,

Making your face shine upon me

With grace, mercy, and compassion,

Lovingly exercising your power for my benefit (8).

 

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You provide the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God.

I find it when I seek your Son, Jesus.

His earthly life gives me a glimpse of your glory in human form–

A form I can more easily understand (9).

 

And now, you have made me a Child of the Light,

Called to reflect your glory to others,

Shining brighter, I pray, as the years pass,

Till the full light of day–inside heaven’s gates (10).

 

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I praise you, oh God, that your Light shattered the darkness

Of evil that first Easter morning—and for all time.

I praise you for the privilege of living in that Light,

Now and into eternity!

 

  1.  Psalm 76:4; Ezekiel 1:28
  2. James 1:17
  3. Psalm 89:15, 34:8-9
  4. Psalm 27:1; 23:4
  5. John 8:12, 14:27; Psalm 16:11; Hebrews 13:5
  6. Psalm 43:3; 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; Ecclesiastes 2:13
  7. Isaiah 5:20; Romans 13:12
  8. Numbers 6:24-26
  9. 2 Corinthians 4:6
  10. Philippians 2:15-16; Ephesians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Proverbs 4:18

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We sat on the runway, awaiting take-off clearance for our flight. Low, thick clouds hung above us, shrouding the area in gloom. Folks in the plane sat quietly in their seats. Really quiet. Not very many smiles either. The oppressive bleakness outside seemed to cause a depressive state inside.

Finally we felt the plane move, pick up speed, and lift off the ground. In seconds the view out our windows was obliterated by the gray-white clouds. We could see absolutely nothing, as if curtains had been drawn outside the windows. Was the plane even moving? There was no way to tell, except for the loud drone of the engines and the upward angle of the plane.

Suddenly we escaped the cloud bank and were almost blinded by the brilliant sun. Some people turned off the overhead lights, others closed their window blinds against the glare.

As a result of the bright light, the atmosphere changed inside the plane. The dark mood of moments before turned to cheer. Some passengers shifted in their seats, sitting up a bit straighter. Soft chatter, even a few chuckles, peppered the air.

What a difference sunlight makes.

The physiological connection between sunlight and mood has been studied by scientists. They’ve determined that sunlight increases the production of serotonin in the brain, which is tied to wakefulness and feeling happy.

Those of us who know God can experience another source of light – his light — even when the dark clouds of trouble roll in (Psalm 18:28).  The benefits are incredible.

1.  “In [his] light we see light” (Psalm 36:9b). As we practice God’s presence and live according to the directions of his Word, we see the wisdom of his ways. We also become more aware of God’s glorious attributes shining into our lives—his power, loving kindness, grace, and more.

2.  “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength” (Psalm 89:15-17a).

Take note. God is righteous. Everything he does is good and right, absolutely perfect.

Did you catch that amazing statement at the end?  Our God of Light is our glory. He is magnificent, full of splendor, and grandeur, yet he is our Heavenly Father!  Could any state of circumstances be more incredible?

God is the source of all strength. Think of it. The all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign God of the universe is on our side—all the time. He is completely, forever committed to us, until that day we see him in all his glory, our King of kings!

3.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear” (Psalm 27:1)?

Consider what dark clouds might symbolize in our circumstances: stress, problems, fear, and sorrow.

Now consider what the Lord of Light brings to us: guidance, wisdom, joy, provision, comfort, grace, and peace.

He is light within us and around us.

Sometimes when a thick cloud bank of difficulty settles over our lives, we think God has abandoned us. But take note of these wise words:

 

“Measure not God’s love and favor by your own feeling.

The sun shines as clearly on the darkest day as it does in the brightest.

The difference is not in the sun,

but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof”

– Richard Sibbes (Anglican theologian, 1577-1635).

 

Praise God for his glorious constancy!

 

 

(Photo credit:  www.vision.cs.uiuc.edu.)

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As I set the dish washing soap down on the counter, a small cluster of bubbles burst from the open top.  Playfully they danced upward in front of the window.  And I didn’t just smile; I giggled.

Memories associated with bubbles floated through my mind as I watched those drifting bubbles—memories of our children, and now our granddaughter–gleefully capturing bubbles that family members provided for their popping pleasure.  As they grew older, the children took on the challenge of slow and steady blowing, to make the biggest bubbles possible.

 

 

But it’s just a pocket of air surrounded by a film of soap.  Why is it that a bubble grabs our attention?

First, no one can refute their beauty:

  • Bubbles reflect light and sparkle with iridescence.
  • Bubbles refract light into brilliant pastel hues.  Ever-changing ribbons of color pirouette over the surface in rainbow swirls.
  • Bubbles gracefully glide across space, undulating on the air currents.

Each of these aspects can also draw attention to another form of beauty: the beauty of the Lord.

 

 

(“One thing I ask of the Lord,

this is what I seek: …

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.”

–Psalm 27:4)

 

But what does the beauty of bubbles (of all things) have to do with God?

Bubbles remind me that:

1)  God is light (1 John 1:5).  Ezekiel saw him “as if full of fire…Brilliant light surrounds him” (Ezekiel 1:27).  “The Lord is my light” is also a symbolic statement, referring to his truth and goodness.

2)  The refraction of light into glorious colors is reminiscent of the first rainbow (Genesis 9:15-17).  God told Noah that never again would he send a flood to destroy all life on earth.  The rainbow was a sign of this promise.  To this day, a rainbow—even a rainbow on a bubble—is a reminder that God keeps his promises.

 

 

3) The grace with which bubbles move brings to mind the grace of God.  He, too, moves in gentle ways within our spirits, like a loving shepherd tenderly gathering the lambs to his heart (Isaiah 40:11).

Perhaps God’s whole intention for creating bubbles (and many other phenomenon in nature) was to grab our attention and turn our thoughts to him.

So the next time bubbles escape from the bottle of the dish soap, you may wish to send up a prayer of praise, as they merrily bob through the air:

 

You are resplendent with light, O God (Psalm 76:4)!

You are faithful to all your promises (Psalm 145:13c)!

You are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger,

abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6)!

 

But why wait for serendipity bubbles?  Take some of that dish soap and create your own!

 

 

Revel in the sparkling light, the whirling rainbows, the graceful dance…

 

…and worship!

 

(photo credits:  www.flickr.com; http://www.pixabay.com;  www.dailyverses.net; wikimedia.com; http://www.pixabay.com.)

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