Christ Our Hope is our theme this week. The scripture reading is Isaiah 60:2-3 NRSV
2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Before my time of Centering Prayer every morning, I like to read Scripture in the way of Lectio Divina that is, I read until I encounter a word or words that capture my attention. Then I reflect on them in silence. I listen for what God is saying to me in this time and place.
About a month ago, I began re-reading the book of Genesis. The verses above reminded me of words I chose from the first chapter of Genesis, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light…”." Genesis 1:2 NIV
What particularly strikes me about both verses is God’s presence. God is present in the darkness and in what follows. God is continually arising in and upon the cosmos creating something new and wonderful. On the sixth day from the beginning, God created us, humans, in God’s image and likeness and pronounced us “Very Good”. And in another time of darkness, God manifested God’s Self in Jesus. Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NRSV
Jesus, the Christ, is my hope. I see in his example the possibility for my own transformation through grace, suffering, and letting go of self to live out of the “Very Goodness” poured into me by a loving God. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says to the people gathered there, and also to us: “...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 5:16 NRSV
I believe that what I do from my heart matters - even though it may seem small. I believe that I, and every one of us, can consent to be a co-creator of love with God and a light bearer here and now. These beliefs uplift and uphold me in times of darkness. And I find myself singing a song I learned a long time ago. I’ll bet you remember it too. “This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine.”
I imagine more and more of us becoming God’s love and light in the world. And I see our “little lights” begin to twinkle on the mountains, in the valleys, in the darkened cities, coming together, brighter, and brighter. And I see that, as on that Christmas eve so long ago, the darkness is filled with light, and the glory of the Lord is shining everywhere. So, let’s let our light shine!