Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Is it dark in here?" asked Corey Hart.

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is sincere, your whole body is full of light also. But when it is evil, your body is dark also. 35 Therefore pay careful attention that the light in you is not darkness! 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, not having any part dark, it will be completely full of light, as when the lamp with its light gives light to you.” (Luke 11)

So Saturday we skipped along the bunny trail to a place where it seemed like lamps were symbols for the Church, the Bride of Christ, shining in the darkness continually, fed by the Spirit, tended by a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  But when we tried to plug the definition back into Luke eleven we didn’t so much as skip, as trip.  There be a fatal flaw in my logicanator.  So let’s hit the self-destruct button, pick up the pieces and try again. 

What do we know about lamps without really even giving it much thought?  What do they do?  Give light, customarily when there’s no other source of light available.  Why is that desirable?  Cuz without light, our eyes become just soft plugs for a couple of holes in our heads to keep bugs out.  A valuable commodity to be sure, but it would have been far simpler to have just not had holes in the first place.  Light is necessary for seeing.  Which reminds me of a quote by C.S. Lewis, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”  Chuck’s quote reminds me of Saturday’s quote from Revelations…

12 And I turned to see the voice which was speaking with me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching to the feet and girded around his chest with a golden belt, 14 and his head and hair were white like wool, white as snow, and his eyes were like a fiery flame, 15 and his feet were like fine bronze when it has been fired in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters, 16 and he had in his right hand seven stars, and a sharp double-edged sword coming out of his mouth, and his face was like the sun shining in its strength.” (Rev 1)  Jesus, standing there, as bright as the Sun, shimmering with heat and flame.  Must have made those lamps hard to see.  Which reminds me of something an angel said once … And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 that has the glory of God.” … “22 And I did not see a temple in it, for the Lord God All-Powerful is its temple, and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon, that they shine on it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 And the nations will walk by its light,” (Rev 21)  Which again, reminds me that Jesus said, “I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8)

Oh, we’re so close I can taste it.  No, I think I might be seeing it!  The key is the Temple.  Paradise, the Bride of the Lamb has no Temple in it for God dwells among His people. 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1Cor 3)
 19 The sun shall no longer be your light by day,

    and for bright light the moon shall not give you light,

but Yahweh will be your everlasting light,

    and your God your glory.
20 Your sun shall no longer go down,

    and your moon shall not wane,

for Yahweh himself will be your everlasting light,

    and your days of mourning shall come to an end.” (Is 60)

Oh for the day God appoints “peace as your overseer,

    and righteousness as your ruling body.” And you “shall call your walls Salvation,

    and your gates, Praise.”   Oh for the day when we aim the windows of our souls at Him and they cease to be squishy bug-plugs and they become lamps!  Lighting all within us!  Filling us from brim to bum like luminaries or fireflies!  Oh for the day when we light up all around us and “they can see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5)

But When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate.” (Gen 3)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, 16 because everything that is in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance of material possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” (1John 2)

Then the light that is within us is not light at all.  When we want this world more than the next, when we want what we want and justify our desires, then 28 Yahweh shall afflict you with madness and with blindness and with confusion of heart. 29 And you shall be groping at noon just as the blind person gropes in the dark, and you shall not succeed in finding your way, and you shall only be abused and robbed all the time, and there will not be anyone who will rescue you.” (Deut 28)  And since Eve, this we have all done.  Since Eve took her eyes off of Yahweh and put them on her own lusts we have all been born blind.  And 32 From time immemorial it has not been heard that someone opened the eyes of one born blind.” (John 9)

But Jesus, he asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10)

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