Skip to main content

Reflections on reflections....

Light pierces the darkness. But the darkness did not recognize it. -John 1:5

Have you ever tried to drive with your headlights off on a night when the moon is full directly overhead and there are no streetlights around, no clouds in the sky, and no other cars in sight? (note: this last detail remains the most important). It's amazing! There is entirely enough light to see details in the road, surrounding the road, and even to see some things within your car.

Why make this observation? Well first of all, because it is cool and reckless and chances are you wouldn't have known that had I not told you, and props to you for not trying. But secondly, to observe that reflected light can be super bright!

Before I proceed, allow me to clarify where all this is coming from: the night sky. It's black as we perceive it. Images from space show that space is just void nothingness and nothingness is perceived as darkness.

And yet there are thousands of hundreds of burning balls of gas, similar to our own sun (you know, that big bright thing that lights up the earth and is so bright you can't win a staring contest no way no how?), and they are scattered ALL over the sky. All these light sources and yet when our own sun disappears for the evening, we are left looking up into a black void of spangled starry lights. So how is it that with all of these suns splattered across the pallet of our night sky that we still perceive darkness? How is it that we do not see everything with the light of a regular day?

The light lacks reflection.

All light sources increase in perceived brightness exponentially when they are reflected from even a single alternate surface. This is why we give projectors a screen to display on, white cans for recessed lighting to fit into, mirrors above fluorescent fixtures, etc, etc. If we can find a way to reflect light towards the targeted area, the light will be significantly brighter than otherwise. When we look up into the night sky we see black sky with single pinpoints of light because the light has nothing to reflect off of. Our own sun is bight enough that it reflects on our atmosphere and we perceive that reflected light as blue sky, white clouds, green grass, and rainbow after a rain. Reflected light allows the beauty of the light source to be all the more bright, all the more brilliant and all the more terrific for the perceiver.

The analogy breaks down ultimately so I will stop trying to stretch it further, but the point I am realizing is that believers of Christ do not need to worry themselves with being light sources, but rather brilliant surfaces that allow a true reflection of the light to be displayed. The broader and whiter our surfaces are the more light we will allow to cascade off of us. In the manner of Philippians 3, we are to be like Christ and have people see reflections of Him in ways that we are modeling Him.

There is a neat devotional thought that could continue to be fleshed out here, but it needs collaboration to continue. Please leave thoughts below and then let's go grab a coffee and finish it together.

In the meantime, Christmas has arrived at the Read household!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Protesting ChristMass

During a meeting with several other Cincinnati area worship ministers last week we got to talking shop about Christmas/Christmas Eve services; who was doing them, who was not, how many and what time. I was intrigued (neither positive nor adverse reaction) to find that roughly a third of the churches represented were not having any kind of Christmas Day services, even though Christmas morning is a Sunday this year. Yet there was one leader (Reggie) who said that their church has a Christmas morning worship service every year regardless of whether it falls on a Sunday.

Initially this shocked me. How could this be? Why would this be? Why have a church service every Christmas? Why not stay home and eat cinnamon rolls and open presents like the rest of America? Reggie said many of the people who expect this from his congregation are not native North Americans. Initially Reggie was against the idea, but once he realized how many people from his congregation wanted to have a Christmas mornin…

The Home School Game

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Our family has started a tradition of celebrating this day by opening gifts from our stockings on this day and remembering the historical figure of Nicholas, who was a humble and generous person. It is a wonderful compromise for our family backgrounds to both celebrate Santa Claus and at the same time keep Christ-mas about Christ. It has become a tradition I look forward to every year.

This year, we decided to add an element of teaching our children to be generous by choosing toys they want to give away to other girls and boys who are less fortunate than our children. Katie lined up two dozen toys they had not been playing with for some time now and laid them all out on a table. One by one, our kids examined the toys on the table and were instructed to pick out onetoy they wanted to keep for themselves. After each kid had picked out a toy to keep, they were told to go back through the toys and pick another toy they wanted to give away. It was heart-…

Imitation: Diets, Houses, and Faith

There were 3 options for my preschoolers to choose from: Honey Bunches of Oats, Cocoa Pebbles, or Raisin Bran. I set all 3 on the table and asked each child which cereal they would like to eat for breakfast; all three chose 'Honey Boats.' After pouring their cereal and getting each kid situated, I poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran and we all got to munching.

When Isaiah (my oldest) finished his cereal first he asked if he could have more. Sure thing, which one do you want? 
"That one" *pointing to the Raisin Bran*
Surprised I pour him a bowl of Raisin Bran, surprised that he ate the entire bowl.

As we were cleaning up our bowls from the table after breakfast I realized that the Cocoa Pebbles were not touched this morning, not even mentioned. Odd, I thought, typically the chocolately-sugary cereals don't last a week at our house. And yet this is the same [big] bag of Cocoa Pebbles that we opened over a month ago. Why the sudden lack of interest?

****************…