The Light of our Illuminator

A Weekly Reflection, Sunday, January 21, 2018

By: Matt Rawls, Director of Youth Ministries

Please, Dear God, no more snow. Please.

Snow is interesting. It is simultaneously dreadful and dreadfully exciting. When we see the snowflake in the forecast, we have a primitive reaction – developed from our days in elementary school – of unbridled excitement. Even as adults, when it starts snowing we peer out the window, amazed by the sight, hoping for a glimpse of that mythical creature: a Snow Day.

We wake up late the next morning to celebrate the Snow Day. We cook a great big breakfast and then put on our snow clothes. We go on a nice long walk, watching the dog jump up and down with excitement as we merrily tromp through the winter wonderland.

By lunch time we’re bored out of our minds. By day two, we start going crazy. By day three all we can think about is how much we hate the winter. And I don’t even have children….

But no matter how annoying and cold the snow can be, there is one objective truth: it is beautiful! Fresh snow covers the ground and flattens all the jagged edges. And as the light reflects off it, the world seems brighter. So bright, in fact, that the ground seems brighter than the sky. But that is an optical illusion. There is a section in Annie Dillard’s book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, about this illusion. She discusses an experiment where she places a mirror on the snow, facing up to the sky. With the comparative reflections, it becomes readily apparent that the sky is obviously brighter than snow which is reflecting the sky.

The illuminated can never be brighter than the Illuminator. This is true in physics, and it is true in our spiritual lives as well. The light we have to share with the world is a reflection of the Light of our Illuminator. Our Illuminator is the Light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Our job as followers of Jesus is to reflect that light to the world around us. To paraphrase the prophet Isaiah, even though our human condition and sin makes us less reflective that we should be, through Christ we become white as snow. Through Christ we become more reflective, so that we can reflect better the Light of Christ to the world.