Stepping Light-ly

Well people, there’s been so much troublesome news this week, I decided I needed a little enlightenment. And the timing couldn’t have been better, since on Sunday, Tony preached about that very thing: light.

I’m reminded of a time 47 years ago when we were in Zambia, Africa. A fascinating man by the name of Dr. Herbert F. Mitchell came through town on a mission trip.  He had just retired from many years at NASA where he worked as a space scientist. In fact, his work was crucial to the Apollo moon project, playing a big role in insuring that the astronauts got to the moon and back safely.

His specific job was to calculate all the orbital information needed, a task that was built around Einstein’s theory of relativity. Remember that famous formula? E=MC2, or in other words, Energy (E) is equal to Mass (M) times the speed of light squared. Yeah, if you’re like me, that doesn’t tell me a whole lot, either. But according to Dr. Mitchell, we would have never gone into space or set foot on the moon without that insight from Einstein.

After retiring, Dr Mitchell decided to visit as much of the world as he could, sharing that information and comparing it to Scripture. He began by reading from 1John 1:5, This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

“We need to understand,” he said, “that when John wrote those words, he was making an analogy that would have been meaningless before Einstein made his discovery in 1938.”  Then he went on to explain that “light” is made up of five specific properties. Here’s the first one:

Light is the source of all Life.

I had to think about that for awhile, but it’s true; If there’s no light, there’s no life. That fact was made clear to me during our last five years in Japan, when we lived in a tiny apartment in Tokyo, a city of 39 million people.  Our bedroom window, and every other window except one, faced the stair well and inner courtyard, so it was pretty much dark all the time. I soon discovered that if I was going to ‘come to life’ in the mornings, I was going to need some help. So my loving husband rigged up a desk lamp on a timer to come on at exactly 6AM.  I didn’t need an alarm clock, I needed a reason to live, and it worked like a charm.

Ah, but you say, “What about the bottom of the ocean where sea creatures lurk who have never seen the light? Well, for one thing, even deep sea critters have to eat, and what they feed on are all those things that live way up in the light. When they die, they drift down to the bottom of the sea, a veritable smorgasbord from above. And it’s also worth noting that those guys have their own light sources in the form of luminescent fish and rocks that are all around them in abundance. The same applies to underground caves where all manner of creepy crawlies thrive without sunlight, but depend on luminescent rocks.

The Bible underlines this first property of light time and again, beginning with the first recorded words out of the mouth of God in Genesis one, “Let there be light”.  Again in Matthew 5:14, Jesus calls to us by saying “The city built on the hill cannot be hidden”, and urges us to “let our little lights shine”. We are in fact, according to Jesus, “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

So, would you like to know more? Tune in next week, and I’ll give you the second property of light, and how it describes God perfectly.

Brighter days ahead! Have a ‘Bright Week”!


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