Word of the Month

True light

September 2002

Light is one of the greatest gifts of God - yes, God Himself is light! With the first act of creation, He created light. And when Jesus walked the earth He proclaimed: "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness." (John 8:12). What a magnificent promise! Jesus further elaborated upon this image by saying to His disciples and listeners: "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14).

The Apostolate certainly radiates divine light, but every congregation is also a bearer of light. Under the light of God, the true light, His children grow in understanding. How does the light manifest itself in the congregation? First of all through word and sacrament. Already the psalmist had recognized: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105). What a light begins to glow when the grace of Holy Baptism and Holy Sealing is dispensed! When the disciples received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, cloven tongues like fire appeared above their heads: divine light. When our sins are forgiven darkness disappears, because the light of grace penetrates the soul. And at Holy Communion, the intimate fellowship with the Lord, Christ's light shines directly into the soul.

What a bright light shines when we receive divine peace, which is laid into our souls each time our sins are forgiven! Light also begins to shine when we are merciful, peaceable and willing to reconcile, when we bring an offering of the heart by placing our will under the will of God. Let us not place our light under a basket, but rather let us let it shine into the darkness in order to illuminate it. Let us be a light where we live!

Apostle Peter wrote: "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." ( 2 Peter 1:19). To whom is the Apostle referring when he speaks of the morning star? None other than Jesus Christ. When He rises in our hearts, and the new day dawns, then it will be the day of the Lord. Then our bridegroom will come and take the bride to the marriage of the Lamb. Then He will transform His own into eternal light. And when the city of God described in Revelation appears there will be no more need for the sun, because God Himself will illuminate the city with His light. (c.f. Revelation 21:23).

(Excerpt from a divine service of the Chief Apostle)