Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Source of light

Sometimes Christian themes are secularized, or lose their meaning.

Lately, the topic of "light" comes up everywhere. I remember how in high school we went around singing DC Talk's "I want to be in the light." Or how about the more recent one, "Into marvelous light I'm running..."? There's also the favorite, "Shine, Jesus, Shine." When we think about what light and darkness represent, of course these words hold meaning for us. But when taken out of context, they aren't so effective.

What does it mean when the light goes on? We all feel something when we see the flicker of a candle, yet what is it exactly that we're feeling?

I had a high school teacher who was Jewish. On the last day of class, he lit a candle and gave a poignant speech about how we could bring light to the world. A Russian teacher here also talked about being a light. Also popular is the theory that "light always conquers darkness." +/-

It's not a new concept. Everyone instinctively knows that light is good and darkness is bad. Almost everyone you talk to believes in a version of the "light conquers darkness" theory. If it is a person with very little hope, he may talk about everything being in darkness. But in order for there to be darkness, there had to have been light, or knowledge of light.

I suppose the difference lies in whether or not we name the Source, or acknowledge it for ourselves. My Jewish high school teacher may have been speaking of God. I will never know. Maybe he was afraid to speak of faith in school, or maybe he hadn't decided yet which god is the true one.

There are a lot of times when we leave topics open. We are afraid to fill in the blanks. We say "good luck," but are afraid to mention that we believe in the will of God. We say we will pray for someone, but we don't mention to Whom we will pray.

Or maybe I am the only one?


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