Saturday, February 23, 2013

Light: Reflections on the Second Sunday of Lent

Light goes through the sacrifice of Abram to signify God's acceptance. When we die, we do not know exactly what awaits us, but we do know that we will be glorified with bodies of light. Peter, John and James are shocked to see their rabbi glow and appear with Moses and Elijah.

Light is a symbol for the divine that transcends time and space. We have in the Hindu faith the festival of Diwali. A friend of mine has been to India before during this festival and he said it was as if the Ganges was on fire.

Like this.
In Judaism, there is Hanukkah, a celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple.

In Buddhism, there is the Tazaungdaing festival. Believed to be a remnant of a Hindu festival, it is the time of year when the monks get new robes and are offered alms.

So, what is it about light that groups around the world see it to be such an apt symbol for the divine? Does it date back to our distant ancestors huddling close to those early campfires for protection from the wild? On the flip side of that, is it from our almost universal fear of the dark? Here are a few of my thoughts on the topic:

What does light do and what does that tell us about God? Light illuminates. Okay, good. What is that supposed to mean?

Well, it makes it safer to walk around because you can see things in your way. And so, God, if we let Him, can guide our way.

It also makes you feel exposed because everyone can see you. As in the end, God sees everything we say and do and we will be judged on how much and how well we love others.

Light can also provide warmth. Warmth helps with a lot of different things. It protects us from frost-bite. It helps the plants to grow. Light's warmth points us to the more maternal aspects of God. See, God is neither male or female. He is in a category of His own.

Tangent Alert: We refer to Him as a male because it's easier, it is tradition, and God not only revealed Himself in the form of a man in Jesus but Jesus Himself called Him Abba, Daddy. So, since we've always called Him Father and He seems to want to be called Father, we call him Father. But that is not to disparage the parts of Scripture in which God is described using feminine imagery. God is shown to be nursing His people (Isaiah 49:15). The character of Wisdom, which is found frequently in the Old Testament, is described as a woman and seems to have an awful lot in common with God (Proverbs 8, especially verse 22 on). In short (CCC 370):
 In no way is God in man’s image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective “perfections” of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.
</Tangent> (Look Mom, I'm learning HTML)

Light makes us feel secure because we know what is in front of us. In the dark, our imaginations can go wild wondering what may be in the dark with us. Light gives us the security of knowledge. Similarly, if we let Him, God can help us to see things clearly. If we put God first, everything else will fall into place.
That is all I got for now. What about you?

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