I love night-lights. Think what you want about my maturity or my manliness, but I am not afraid to admit that I love night-lights. In fact, it goes beyond love…I need night-lights! Now here’s the thing, I’m not afraid of the dark or anything like that. (Well, ok, maybe a little bit—and I confess to getting a little spooked when I’m at the church building late at night by myself!) Night-lights keep me from hurting myself. I’m one of those people who tend to get up in the middle of the night. And there’s not much worse than stubbing your toe on the chair or tripping over the dog when you are on your way to getting some Oreos. Night-lights keep me safe, and help me get my Oreos.

Sometimes we unplug the lights to vacuum, and then forget to plug the lights in. When I wake up and realize all the lights are out, I face a choice: turn the lights on, or try to navigate the darkness on my own. I choose darkness, and it almost always ends badly for me.

I am struck by this breathtaking phrase from Psalm 36:

“For with you is the fountain of life,

in your light we see light.”

—Psalm 36.9 NRSV

“In your light we see light…” That is beautiful, but I admit I don’t fully know what it means. It reminds me of John 1: “The light shines in the darkness…” Without the light of God, we don’t have it within us to behold light. God’s light makes all other light possible. There is light and goodness in the world, and God’s light opens it up to us. Without it, we walk in darkness, tripping over all the stumbling blocks and stubbing our toes on unexpected obstacles. But with God, a whole world of adventure, joy, peace, and blessing is opened up for us.

Light is all throughout Scripture. The beam starts early: “Let there be light…” It continues into the end of the story: “And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light…” It’s everywhere in between: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet…” When God put on flesh and blood, it was “a light in the darkness.” The Psalmist sings: “You O Lord, light my lamp, my God lightens my darkness…”

Why do we stumble through life with the lights turned off, trying to navigate the darkness ourselves? We might be able to navigate a dark room in the middle of the night without any light…but it will never work if we try to get through life on our own.

God is light. May we open our eyes to the light.



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