I love sunlight. I do. I crave it. Like a plant, I turn my face to the sun and soak in its goodness. My blinds and curtains are open. My chair at the table faces the window so I can see the sun. As someone who has struggled with depression and other mood disorders throughout my adult life, I know how vital getting my daily dose of vitamin D laden light rays is. When the skies turn grey for an extended period of time or when the days grow short and the hours of sunshine are limited, I turn to my artificial sun, my lightbox, for a shot of bright light therapy. It helps. The cosmetic damage to my skin is more than outweighed by the psychological help to the rest of me.
But what about when the whole world seems dark? When the daily news is full of hatred and pain. Or when shadows and gloom darken your own personal situation. The solution is the same: turn to the light. Jesus tells us in John’s gospel “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).
Light has long been seen as a symbol of God’s presence. Whether it was the burning bush that attracted Moses, the pillar of flame that guided the Israelites at night through the desert or the burning of a candle on an alter today, the flame reminds us of God’s everlasting presence with us and of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Seek the light of God’s presence.
John’s gospel tells us that “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:19-21)
What about you? Are the blinds and curtains of your mind and heart open to receive the son? Are you positioning yourself to face him? Friends, there is darkness in the world. But there is also light. Step into the light. His love is radiant and his power to overcome the darkness is absolute. Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5). Let his light shine in and through your darkness.