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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE SACRED PAUSE: LIGHT



Have you ever pondered what it would be like to be totally blind? We verify our location in space by seeing where we are. We recognize the familiar by seeing it repeatedly until our brains know the patterns of what we see and then recognize. With the familiar it happens in a split second. With the unfamiliar, we have to look closely to really “see” the critical characteristics of what we are focusing on. Visual focus depends on light. I’ve been to Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico. When they turn out the lights for a minute, you literally can focus on nothing - darkness enshrouds you completely. There is much to see, but you can’t because light is utterly absent.

When John tells us in his Gospel that “in [Christ] was life and that life was the light of men . . . the true light that gives life to every man . . .”(John 1:4-9) he describes a miracle. What was previously hidden from view, i.e., Jesus, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, has now been revealed. God has come to us and we see him in Jesus, who oddly enough looks like one of us - human. The light that led to life was the reality that Jesus came to sacrifice himself on a cross, atoning fully for our sin so we might receive his righteousness through grace by faith. Our sin was washed away so life to the full might commence in us now and grow to full bloom in eternity.

The sheer intensity of this Gospel light exposed the tyrannical dictatorship of sin and death over us. The more intense the light, the easier it is to see. Dim light makes it difficult to pick out detail, giving only faint shapes and blurry outlines. The law exposed our sin; it let us know we were in dire straits, but it couldn't “give life to every man.” It was not “bright” enough, and had to be kept lit by keeping all the law. Jesus, the redemptive God-man was the brilliant intensity strong enough to end death’s catastrophic reign over humanity living in darkness until his revealing. The Light of the world brought healing, peace with God, and the beginning of the entire Creation’s restoration someday.

All this might feel a bit abstract, “hard to see,” but it applies simply to your life. Because you believed in him and what he has done, or perhaps you're trying to work that out, you’ve been given “the right to become [a child] of God.” This birth is not of human origin, rather you have been “born of God.” (John 1:12-13). Your Father in heaven has given you a transcending light, thus opening “the eyes of your heart” so you recognize this Jesus. The light has come and a deep darkness is vanquished. You are able to see beyond the veil: Immanuel, God is with us.”

The light of God drew you at a point in your life to catch a glimpse, at first, of the faint outlines of Jesus coming toward you in your heart. He gradually came into clear view so you could see him as he is and be convinced he's the God of all, surrendering your life because your eyes comprehended stunning beauty and mercy and love and truth. The light dawned on your understanding and your life was revealed as part of a bigger LIFE animating the entire universe. 

God's light as revealed in Jesus made you see what wasn't there before.
The light healed your blindness and made your eyes to see . . .

Take a few minutes to let the Holy Spirit illuminate the following questions and open the eyes of your heart:

1. Jesus, where in this season of new life and birth are you beckoning me to see something of your nature more clearly?

2. Father, where do I still dwell in darkness concerning your love for me, the freedom you invite me to, or the purity of heart you want for me?

3. Abba, this Christmas, give me the ability to see my life more clearly in the light of Kingdom you’ve called me to live within and bring to others who can’t see you yet, or just don’t want to.


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