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Let Your Light Life Shine!

Light. The full moon was bright this morning. The sun reflecting off the snow necessitates the use of sunglasses today. Even in the deep of winter there is light and today it is a bright light. We are almost ten days from the shortest day/longest night of the Winter Solstice in the western hemisphere. As we take our next full trip around the sun- 365 days until we are here again -I invite you to reflect upon the precious power of light.

Light. Electricity, sunshine, fire, stars, planets. There are so many sources of light. It was January 1981 and I didn’t know how important light was for me. I had taken it for granted. Having grown up in sunny Southern California, where there are well over 300 days of sunshine, it wasn’t until I was in the deep darkness of a Minnesota winter that I realized how much I needed light.

Light. It allows for growth. Illumination. Insight. It would take another few winters in the Midwest for me to understand the full impact of dark days on my mood. In January of 1994 I found myself walking my infant child up and down the aisles of the Walmart in Yankton, South Dakota to allow us both to take in the bright electric lights. Later I would discover a little blue light that I could sit beside to boost my mood but back then the fluorescent lights of a big box store were my source of light in the deep darkness of winter.

Light. We are designed to be people of light. We need the light and we are the light. You have light in you. I have light in me. We are each a light. A life light. You have a countenance- a face, with facial expressions that light up a room. Your face, your eyes that have the capacity to let light shine. In 2020 there have been more opportunities to read faces that are masked- so we look more often into eyes. Here are 51 facts about your eyes. (Okay- just one rabbit hole today). I have to “keep my eye on the prize”.

Light. There are so many expressions and metaphors we use that refer to both light and seeing. This week our gospel reading John 1:1-18 references light 6 times and also includes the word enlighten.

Light. In the beginning God created the light - we hear these words from Genesis 1.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Light. As this calendar year draws to a close in the next day I invite you to pay attention to light. When you turn on your lights, when you notice the moon as it wanes. Did you know that the moon shines because its surface reflects light from the sun. And despite the fact that it sometimes seems to shine very brightly, the moon reflects only between 3 and 12 percent of the sunlight that hits it.

Light. It doesn’t really take much to brighten the darkness. The flame of a candle, a flashlight, the stars, the moon. And you. You can practice at home- look at your own eyes in the mirror- can you see the light? As we have one more Sunday in the Christmas season we hear about the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.

Light. As we “ring in” a new year I invite you into a “new beginning”. At baptism we hear the directions, “let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. We sing, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” On Wednesday January 6, 2021 we celebrate the day of Epiphany and begin a new season of light. The magi were led to Jesus by a star shining in the sky. As we begin a new year I invite you to pay attention to light. Look for light. Listen for light in our scripture. Consider the sources of light both physical light and spiritual light in your life and give God thanks for the light.

Light. May the light of Christ fill you today and in the days to come as we take our next trip around the sun together. The days are growing longer even when it may not appear so. We get to remind one another that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not, does not and will not over come the light. So, unafraid we let our life lights shine. LIght.

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