NOTE: I will eventually get back to the promised follow-up to “Does ESE need ann IEP?” However, thanks to Newtown, CT, my attention is still focused elsewhere.
PHOTOGRAPHY is all about light. It’s about capturing light and about how light helps us to understand an image. The settings on a camera are designed to manage how much light we use, and for how long.
Advent, these four weeks of preparation before Christmas, is a kind of photography. What we do during this time of the year, as people of faith, is to be more deliberate about our relationship to the light. The action of light interacting with our lives makes an imprint on us just as an “exposure” leaves an image on a roll of film.
CHILDREN of LIGHT: Sunday morning, in church, I sang Joseph’s Lullaby by Mercy Me. Then, immediately, Kelly read the remarkable passage of scripture from John’s Gospel (John 1:1-16). The reading included these words:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it…
the light shines in the darkness
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Say it aloud, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
I let the words of the song run through my heart. It was the night Jesus was born, and Joseph looks into the future and prays, “Lord, I ask that he, for just this moment, simply be my child…”
And I thought about all of the children in this world, not just those in Newtown, Connecticut, but all the little ones who are not given the opportunity to simply be somebody’s child:
Hundreds of thousands killed as infants because they are not boys
Millions sold into slavery (manufacturing, farm labor, sex…) because they are helpless
Tens of thousands starved to death because the adults are at war over politics
So many failing to thrive, beaten, ignored, in the way….
Darkness, darkness over the face of the earth.
and the darkness did not overcome it
THE LIGHT: But the light shines, and the darkness has not overcome it.
OK. So, words of hope. Words of hope, right?
Well, that depends on how we respond, now doesn’t it?
Almost all of those examples of darkness also happen right here in the US of A, not just somewhere remote, on the other side of the planet. So much darkness.
IMPERATIVE: So what do we do? Well, the simple – and it turns out most important – action that we can take is to live as Children of the Light:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth). (Ephesians 5:8)
Photography is about capturing the light, and about representing the light in such a way that we can all see the beauty of the image.
Living as faithful Jesus-Followers is all about allowing the light to take up residence inside us, and then taking that light with us into the darkness, and shining with such integrity and intention that the darkness is eradicated. Not by the force of violence, not by our own strength, but by God’s spirit.
So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6)