The Light of the World

John 8:12

The world needs light. It cannot exist or survive without it. The world without Christ is a world of darkness. Without Christ the world is in philosophical darkness. He alone is the fulfillment of the philosopher’s quest. Without Christ the world is in sociological darkness. He alone teaches the higher laws of love that contribute to true brotherhood and peace. Without Christ the world is in spiritual darkness. He alone can save man from the dark night of sin.

Light is the great revealer. The most beautiful flowers, the most majestic mountains are obscured in inky blackness until they are rescued from the night and bathed in the sunlight.

At the Academia in Florence, Italy, are Michelangelo’s great works of sculpture, including his magnificent David. Also on exhibit are unfinished statuary which revealed by their chisel marks the method of Michelangelo’s sculpting. His concept was that he unveiled what was already in the marble, cutting away the superfluities, giving to the world his Pieta or an angel that he saw in a rough piece of marble. Christ releases from its imprisoned splendor the divine qualities within a life and reveals by His light the otherwise hidden glory and beauty of the divine imprint.

Light permeates. It travels at its phantom speed of 186,000 miles a second. It is unhindered by space and time. Christ transcends the barriers of time and space. He is nearer than our dearest one on earth.

Light is pure. Water may start out as a pure spring but too soon it becomes impure when it comes close to man’s habitations. The wind and air become contaminated with man’s toxic chemicals. But light may shine through the most foul medium and yet remain impeccably pure. Christ mingled amid earth’s moral pollution and yet remained pure.

Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the light of the world,” (John 8:12) and “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). How do we reconcile these two sayings?

Every student of astronomy knows that there are two orders of luminaries. There is that which is its own source of light. The sun is of this order. Then there is the luminary which catches and reflects light from another source. The moon is that kind of luminary. Without the light of the sun it would be a sterile, dark ball in a midnight sky. But catching the radiance of the sun, it becomes a glowing, luminous body up in our sky.

Our light is a borrowed ray from the Son of Righteousness. And our lives can catch His radiance and reflect it in a darkened world.

Henry Gariepy, Portraits of Christ

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