Light is an amazing thing when you pause to ponder it. I think I became fascinated with the power of light at university when we were studying the art of Marian Drew. A Queensland-based photographer, Drew creates photographs in a dark studio and then armed with a long exposure setting and torchlight, she uses light to ‘paint’ her still life. 

Her work deals with the effects of humanity on nature. When first viewing her work, there is such a whimsical beauty, yet on closer inspection, one realises that she has actually used dead animals (often road kill she has picked up and taken home) which she arranges delicately on her table like it belongs there. It use to amaze me that something so beautiful was actually made up of dead things. When I was living out in rural New South Wales, it certainly made me think differently about the plethora of road kill on the side of the roads!

Tasmanian Rosella with Apple, Marian Drew, 2005

Light illuminates the darkness. It exposes the reality of what is actually there. It brings comfort to some, it brings fear to others. Plato has been quoted as saying, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” This is the same about the True Light:

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7

As Christians, we should love the light of God. Yes, sometimes it exposes painful realities, as the Holy Spirit shines His torchlight on areas of sin in our lives. But we need to remember that a Holy God demands Holiness and because this is impossible for us to fulfil he sent his wonderful gift of Jesus.  That being said, “If we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we live and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). In essence, we deceive ourselves if we think we can live in relationship with a Holy God and continue to bathe in the muck and filth of sin and darkness. 

BUT: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) Praise God! No darkness is too dark for God. His light illuminates the way and leads us out. As Isaiah prophesied about the coming of Jesus, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9:2). 

So how do we walk in light? 

“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:8-17).

Here it says we are to remove ourselves from the darkness and walk according to the light, the fruit of which is found in all that is good and right and true (Eph 5:9). 

Psalm 119:105 also tells us that “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” So when we are wondering whether something is of the light, we can allow the Bible to light our way and direct us. For it is God’s Word and meditating on it that teaches us how to wisely walk in the light. Let us go forth, dancing and rejoicing for we are children of the Light!

photo credit: RiRi Trautmann via photopin cc