A pop song came out in 1982 called “Heartlight.” The love song was part of the soundtrack of the child-friendly sci-fi movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. E.T. is a frail and skittish alien. His heart glows red when he makes a friendly connection with another being, as is the case with a young boy who rescues him and saves him until he can reunite with his own extraterrestrial family. The movie is about love, loyalty, and the willingness to trust what you cannot fully understand.
Paul earnestly desires his Corinthian sisters and brothers to see “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” But to “see” or experience that good news, that gospel, the Corinthians will have to trust the source of Paul’s heartlight: the self-giving love of Christ. Paul freely offers this gospel as a slave of Jesus. He knows it is as possible and essential for them to know Christ truly just as it was possible and essential for himself to know Christ when that glory on the road to Damascus blinded him.
All people can realize this possibility because humanity, like Jesus, bears God’s image. (See Genesis 1:26.) We are created to “give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” The Creator designed us to let our heartlight shine for God and for others. We find ourselves willing to love and trust that which we may not fully understand, but we love and trust anyway. Only then does the veil lift to give us a glimpse of glory.
O God of glory, release me from my blindness that I may see you as I seek the welfare of others. Amen.
In the week leading to Transfiguration Sunday, the texts all deal with holy, transforming light; but they also speak to the awkwardness of waiting for and finally experiencing that light. Elisha’s is a stop-and-go pilgrimage before he sees the chariots of fire. Our psalmist proclaims the march of the sun across the sky while also waiting for the eschatological arrival of God’s justice for God’s people. Paul empathizes with the believers in Corinth who are having to wait and work to “give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” Jesus leads Peter, James, and John up a mountain where they wait and are terrified by the cloud of glory that overshadows them.
• Read Psalm 50:1-6. If your life was like the sun arcing across the sky from sunrise to sunset, where in the daytime arc are you right now? What justice would you like to take part in creating before your life sets in the west?
• Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. In what areas of your life do you feel blinded to the light God wants to shine there?
• Read 2 Kings 2:1-12. Think of a time you have felt most blessed by God. How long did you wait for that blessing? Was it worth the wait?
• Read Mark 9:2-9. Recall your last "mountaintop" experience with Christ. How would you describe it? How did that experience change you?
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