My son broke a light bulb the other day. He wanted to test its strength. So he smacked it on the arm of the couch like a man christening a ship. In his defense, he’s four. It took half an hour to clean up the fragments. Bulbs break, but there is an eternal light. There is a flame that can’t be snuffed out. There is a power that can’t be cut off, even if the energy bill is delinquent.
In the beginning God spoke a simple phrase, “Let there be light.” A billion electrons rolled off his tongue in a cloud of heat and the darkness disintegrated. Sadly the human race ran from the light of God and the world came under a shroud. Not just humanity but all of creation.
Thankfully the light of God is determined and defiant in the face of darkness. Nothing can block this light. The sun is rising again on this earth. As John said “the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shinning.” (1 John 2:8)
The man who wrote those words knew about deep darkness. Most of his friends were systematically executed by a regime that rejected the light. So why did he maintain hope? Because the light wasn’t a naïve sentiment. He was a witness to it. He wrote about the things he had “looked at and touched with [his] hands.” (1 John 1:1) He was friends with Jesus who was and is the torch-bearer.
We may feel like the fog is heavy and suffocating. We may hear damp whispers telling us to reject hope. But those voices will be silenced and one day the fog will burn up. We will arrive at the top of a hill that overlooks the place we’ve been searching for all along. The darkness won’t survive there because the light will be too strong.
The best part is, we don’t have to wait for that final day. We are called to be both recipients and bringers of this light here and now. Jesus is called the light of world. Interestingly, he gave us the same name.