Even with the wispy cloud cover, the combination of sun and snow is much brighter than what is collected by the camera. I regret for the umpteenth time this winter that I misplaced my sunglasses.
But that’s what I’m out here for, driving around the winter landscape of central Pennsylvania. I’m here to track the light.
I think about light frequently. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t revel in some aspects of it. Light is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, for it brings not only life and clarity, it adds astonishing beauty.
Here’s the passage from Isaiah which speaks to this:
19 The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.
The link may be lost in the translation. In verse 19, the word for glory is literally beauty. In the coming City of God, we will have no need for external light, for God will be the radiant beauty in our midst. This same concept of God illuminating of his eternal city is repeated in Rev. 22:5.
But wait! There’s more!
21Then all your people will be righteous
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor.
Once again, the word for splendor is beauty. God’s people are planted in the new kingdom for the purpose of displaying his beauty.
Isn’t that amazing? God’s light, his glory, splendor, beauty, will not only be shining on us but through us. We will be an embodiment of his beauty.
There’s nuance to the beauty of light. It’s not just the powerful brightness of the sun. It’s also the delicate softness of the moon at night. Both will be replaced by the Lord and those who live with him.
In the reworking of my studio, my wife and I have thought much about the lighting. We’re after that warm, inviting glow that often gets described as “hominess.” It’s an invitation to come and sit. Settle in with a cup of tea and book, or better yet, into a long conversation.
It says, “You belong here.”
Verse 21 speaks of that. Being planted. Possessing the land forever. Permanence.
This is what I want to think each time I marvel at the brilliant sunshine or turn on a lamp in a dark house. It is a reminder of the beauty of God which he purposes to share with me.
Father of lights, every good and perfect gift comes from you. Remind us by the light that streams down upon us of the beauty of your radiant presence. And let us exude that same beauty to the world around us.
Reader: What’s your favorite spot of light in your house? Send me a photo of it – shed a little light on me!