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There is light and there is Light

I am writing to you dear friend about Light. It is the Celtic Season of Beltane, the season of light. The sun is moving north in the skies, days lengthen. I have placed my petunias in the place they will receive the most direct sunlight realizing that they will not get a day of full sun until it begins to move south again as the days begin to shorten.

Isn’t this idea of light fascinating? Scripture says that in the beginning there was darkness, water and the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. When God spoke just four words: “Let there be light.” Just like that there was light and darkness. God saw that what was done was good and there now was daytime and nighttime. We are left to contemplate this Light because there was no sun or moon yet. In due time God spoke about it. “Let there be lights in the skies to serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years and to give light on the earth. Light would now define life. Now there are two kinds of light. One I know quite well and another I do not understand.

Sunlight can be broken down to its component parts. Let it shine on a diamond ring and watch rainbows dance. Use infra-red light for heat. Ultraviolet light was an early treatment for Psoriasis and is used in tanning beds.

I have had my own experience with the second kind of light. (It singed my arms at a Rockies game). I lived in Germany, about 250 miles north of the southern tip of the Hudson Bay. Children could not go to sleep in the summer unless their bedroom windows were covered with aluminum foil. Lack of it can be devastating. In winter I would walk to work at eight in the morning, in the dark, and return home at five, in the dark. Lack of sunlight was depressing. Often it was the cause of conflict among adults in the community. Later in Fairbanks, Alaska just after the longest day of the year, when it never got dark, it was amusing to be reminded daily that we were losing 6 minutes and 34 seconds of daylight each day. I was reminded that a day without sunlight is troubling to the spirit. I found a day without night unsettling and uncomfortable. I know about sunlight. I know little about that other Light. My friends and I do not talk about it. I cannot recall hearing about it in church. Darkness gets attention. It has books written about it.

Dear Friend, here is what I know about the first Light. This Light comes out of darkness. The Ancients spoke of it. God wraps God’s self in it. (Ps 104). It was around before the beginning. God scolded Job about his lack of knowledge of it. (Job 38) I am told I cannot hide from it. Night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. (Ps 139). There was a man in the world for a while who radiated the Light, the True Light. The world missed it. It still does not get it. The Apostle John (1:5-9) witnesses to seeing the True Light that gives Light to every man. John uses the Greek word for light that means illuminate. Now that is something I can contemplate. Maybe begin to understand. Beltane, this season of light, is happening now. I plan to take advantage of this time, to learn more, try to experience it, appreciate Beltane this time around. I expect this will not be easy. I am willing to allow the Spirit of God to illuminate what needs to be illuminated in me.


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