Light is one of those things that often escapes our awareness. Not in that we don't notice whether it is light or not, but rather that we often look right past the light itself and focus on where it appears to be originating. We look, for example, more often at the light bulb as the light, but it is not the light.
And that is, of course, if we are looking for the light at all. Most of the time, we're just looking at all of the other things that the light enables us to see.
Isaiah talks about the moon and the sun, both objects that we associate to some degree with light. These are the celestial bodies that guide our way during the day and the night. It is the sun's ability, by day, to emit light that gives us the sense of being able to see. And it is the moon's design, at night, to reflect light that illuminates what would otherwise seem vast and vacant in darkness.
But let us not confuse either of these bodies with the light itself. The light alone is the light, and the prophet goes on to tell us that when we understand what true light is - the Lord of Armies, Christ the Lord - then these other things, these things we so often praise and look to in our present lives, will be disgraced.
In other words, they're posing. And the time is coming when they are about to be exposed.
Think about that for a second. What seems like light in our world is about to be exposed for its darkness, for its not actually being light at all. That's astounding.
It puts so much else into perspective for us, as well. Think about everything that we credit God with letting us see in the world, everything we see in reflection of Him. Love, for example. What is love? We see love around us - real, brotherly love - and we think of Christ. But the reflection is so much less than the embodiment.
Anything, really. We see goodness, and it echoes in our soul. We see righteousness, and we feel it. We see grace and mercy and sacrifice and honor and integrity and dignity and peace and a whole host of other good, wonderful, sacred things and who among us hasn't seen these and said to ourselves, "This is God. This is Christ"?
But it's not God. It's not Christ. It may be holy, and it may be a reflection of Him, but every good thing we see in this world, every wonderful and loving and seemingly-godly thing we see in this world, is going to be disgraced when we are enveloped in Goodness Himself. When God reveals Himself in full, all these things in our world that are good are going to be revealed as posers. All that seems light is going to be shown in shadow when it stands before Him.
It's mind-blowing. He's that much greater than whatever we know. That much. He is being in a way that we look right past in our world. We look at objects, but He is essence. We look at living, but He is life. It's right in front of our faces, but so easy to miss because we can't possibly fathom it. Not yet, not now.
And that's the rub. We know that the sun is not light, nor the moon. We get that. We get that light is more than the object where it seems to originate, but we have no way to fathom, no way to capture, no way to express what light is without its object until we ourselves become its object, until it is revealed and wrapped around us in such a way that it needs no explanation at all. It simply is.
As He always has been.
As He always has been.
And always will be.