Fiat lux. Let there be light. The motto of the University of California, Berkeley. Also a quotation from Genesis 1:3.
Light infuses the scripture readings at this time of the church year. God commissions Israel to be a “light to the nations.” “The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.” “The Lord is our light and our salvation.” Those lessons are lessons of hope, hope for increasing brightness in a dark situation, mirrored by our hope (i.e., expectation) that the days will grow longer, and the darkness of the winter solstice will be dispelled.
The metaphor is powerful. The darkness of sin, dispelled by the light of grace/mercy. The darkness of ignorance, dispelled by the light of knowledge. The darkness of chaos, dispelled by the light of order (although there are certainly some folks who would turn that couplet around!)
The power of the metaphor, however, is compounded when we personalize it. As Isaiah told Israel, God had commissioned THEM to be a light to the nations. Jesus told his followers that they were the light of the world. We reflect the light. We share the knowledge. We comfort those experiencing personal darkness. Light shines on us; we redirect it.
As Epiphany is the season marking the “manifestations” of God to humanity—Jesus himself being the great Epiphany—we are challenged to remember that we are also epiphanies. As Jesus was the human face of God while he walked this earth, so are we—the Body of Christ—the human face of God during our time here as well.
Let us be light this semester. To those who mourn friends and loved ones lost in the tsunami, let us be light. To those who will be leaving Cal and heading into some uncertainty, let us be light. To those with whom we simply disagree, let us be light.
Thursday’s Food for Thought: Welcome Back! Catch up with folks. Hear about the upcoming semester. Kick back and schmooze (it’s an Anglican thang). Dinner at 6:30 and on . . . Canterbury House (2334 Bancroft Way)
Next week’s Food for Thought: Tsunami Theology. What happened at in SE Asia just after Christmas shakes the faith of many — not just Christians. How do we make sense of it? How was God present (absent?)? Guests for the evening will include a former Canterburian who was in Sri Lanka when the tidal wave hit. Dinner at 6:30, program at 7:15.
Canterbury Calendar: We’ve put the Canterbury Calendar on-line! Check out the upcoming Food for Thought programs, other dates of interest, where Gary will be preaching/celebrating, even the Eucharistic lectionary for Sundays and Holy Days to come. You can view it by day, week or month. If you click on an event, the details will appear in a pop-up window. Check it out at:
If you have iCal, you can subscribe to the calendar at:
Canterbury Reads: It’s time to pick up a book that’s not required reading. Several folks have thought that Gareth Moore’s, A Question of Truth: Christianity and Homosexuality would be a good read. And, given the furor over Bp. Robinson, same-sex blessings, and the release of the Windsor Report, they’re probably right! D/time will be set soon, but if you’re interested, let Gary know! In the meantime, see if you can find the book on-line!