Light and darkness offer rich metaphors for our life in Christ. Light is God’s love that breaks through the darkness of cruelty and injustice. Light is Christ meeting us in the darkness of human poverty and need. Light is the glow we emit that illumines the road for all who walk near us.
But what about the sun that bathes us with day and the moon that allows us sight at night? Do they too reveal the divine? Do they show us the way on life’s pilgrimage? What about all natural things? Do bird, hazelnut, and sea reveal the divine?
Of course they do. Sitting on a stump in the woods, walking along the shore, or standing atop a mountain, we sense expansive otherness, our smallness in a web of life, and the rich diversity and oneness of being. Nature evokes our praise.
Even when we narrow our focus to a tiny hazelnut, as Julian of Norwich teaches us, we find a source of revelation as rich as scripture. Even attending to our bodies, as the author of Psalm 139 sings, we sense the quiver in our Maker’s fingers.
When we attend to our world with wonder, we can see what God is up to: Each created thing becomes a window, pointing beyond itself to the mystery of the Creator.
In today’s verses, the psalmist wishes for the new king a reign as long as the life of the sun and moon. The psalmist wishes for the king fruitful subjects, like rain that nourishes vast fields of grass. Implicitly, just as sun, moon, rain, and flourishing fields point beyond themselves to their Creator, so the king brings to bear graces from above.
Sun, rain, and field as well as king and people, in their nourishing and flourishing, reveal the God who loves them.
Lord, as nature lights our vision of you, may we light the vision of others. Amen.
As we approach Epiphany Sunday, we think of the coming of God into the world as the coming of a brilliant light—a light that shines into dark corners, a light that shines on people who dwell in darkness. The light of God brings with it the power of restoration to a people in exile. It shines transforming power on forgotten ones who will now arise and shine. God’s presence brings light and well-being. At this time of year, we may desire God’s light to shine upon us.
Read Matthew 25:31-46. Where do you see darkness in your community? How can you shine Christ’s light?
Read Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14. Consider the differences between fairness, justice, and mercy. Who around you suffers when fairness wears the cloak of justice? How can you turn the situation toward mercy?
Read Ephesians 3:1-12. Was there a time when you thought the gospel was not for you? What has changed?
Read Matthew 2:1-12. We can decipher mystery through light, mercy, witness, and love. How is Christ revealed to you this Epiphany?
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