"Let There Be Light!"

I must confess that there were numerous occasions during my first year of college when I prayed that something would “deliver me” from having to attend a required lecture that I may not have had much interest in and considered boring anyway. In every instance, my prayer for divine intervention was denied! Well, one of our college grandsons had a recent experience that prevented him and his class from participating in a lecture by a professor with a strict attendance policy.

Ben (center with white t) relaxed and
ready for his Art History lecture!

Ben had come home after a week of studies at Texas State and was awaiting a final lecture with slides in his favorite Art History class just days before the Thanksgiving break. His dad offered to chauffeur him on the hour-long drive to campus for the Monday evening class. It was a win-win decision that gave Ben some time to collect himself without the distraction of driving and his dad some welcomed one-on-one with his eldest son.

Upon their arrival to campus, Ben and Marc took notice of the construction workers doing what they thought was some maintenance on the road outside of the class building. They never gave this another thought. Marc headed to Starbucks for the wait and Ben entered the auditorium.

After taking his seat, Ben opened his notebook and grabbed a pencil in hand for the lecture. It was then that the whole evening’s objective was upended as the power suddenly went out in the building. The blackout ended up localized and was likely connected to the road maintenance nearby. Nevertheless, these students and their professor were left in absolute darkness and wondering what to do!

Immediately, every student with a cell phone hit their light button on the home page and their collective efforts began to extinguish the darkness throughout the auditorium! However, the creative efforts to counter the dilemma of darkness were not adequate to provide sufficient light necessary for taking notes. Therefore, the professor summarily cancelled the class. But, before sending the disappointed students on their way, he took a picture of the event to post on social media. It was a neat and memorable experience to see that much light making a difference!

In the beginning of this world as we know it, God spoke the created order into existence by His Word. Eugene Peterson characterized pre-earth and paraphrased that “Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness… (then) God spoke, ‘Light!’ And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark.” (Genesis 1:1-4, MSG).

Throughout the annals of time, light has made a difference! Scientists speculate that a million years ago early humankind began using fire in a controlled way for warmth, cooking, and light. It would be in 1879 that Thomas Alva Edison would patent his light bulb with a carbon filament and create the first commercial incandescent light. The subsequent illumination of homes and businesses would further advance the modern era.

This is a season of light! New Yorkers recently kicked off the Christmas season by ceremonially illuminating an 80-foot tall and 12-ton weighted tree with over 50,000 multi-colored LED lights! If that was not dazzling enough, consider what sits atop the tree… a 900-pound specially designed and lighted three-dimensional star! Wowzers! That’s some serious light!

For all the drama and spectacle of the Rockefeller Center Tree, it pales in comparison to the absolutely unique and impactful light of the Incarnate Christ! John says about Christ, “Everything was created through Him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without Him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out!” (John 1:3-5, MSG).

I hope you plan to enjoy and take in the season’s light shows around your community, but let’s not forget how it all started with the Advent of Jesus. He’s still transforming the world by “blazing out of the darkness!” Come and be changed by the Coming One who declared, “I am the light of the world!” (John 8:12).

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com

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