Lent: A Time to Prepare

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.  We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.   2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NLT
I’ve started to walk home after work again.  Now that the days are getting longer, the hour commute is do-able and is a refreshing way to unwind and get some exercise at the same time.  But before you think me a fitness nut, I’m not.  I just appreciate routine and efficiency; my workout is done when I get home.  And I like the light.  Along the way, I like looking for the houses that have a view, the ones that can let in a lot of light.  At work we face another building, and I can’t tell one day from another.  It’s always shadow.
I love how God creates something out of nothing.  Let there be light (Genesis 1:3).  And.  There.  Was.  Light.  The complexity of how light interacts is fascinating.  As I’m walking, the sky is in its habit of changing.  Light shines and colours and ebbs.  To create the sunset, light spreads over molecules and small particles.[i]  These particles seem practically dust:  a reflection; an indication of a glorious, beaming sun that is already lighting up the next sky; becoming beauty beyond its means.  Light begets light.  It seems both the source of light and the particles are needed.
Lent has a way of bringing us on our knees as Christians.  Take ourselves then, likened to fragile clay jars:  hollowed out, prone to falter, practically dust.  Yet we are usable.  We have room for and are entrusted to carry a great treasure of truth, as 2 Corinthians says, “so we could know the glory of God.”  Henri Nouwen put it this way:  “You only know that you’re a sinner in the light of God’s love.  It’s only in the light, in the fullness of the sun that you know there’s a shadow.”  It would seem grace presses down hard on our terracotta but then blows Spirit in.  We are examined and are found wanting but are not discarded; the light source coming with a great transforming power.  I need the light.
So how is the one true Light changing your view?  Together let’s watch for His coming again and again in our lives and in our world.  Let’s keep breathing in this Light of the world who swallowed up the shadow and the darkness.  May the same power that raised Jesus from the dead reside in us and bring us to new life again this Easter.  O Lord, keep my lamp burning and keep turning my darkness into light (Psalm 18:28)!  May we know and experience this Light that is beyond ourselves and that is still creating something out of nothing.
O Lord, as carriers and partakers of Your light, we rejoice in Your good work in us.  You will be faithful to complete it.  To God be all the glory.  Great things He hath done.  Amen.
Submitted by Karen Stelter

[i] “Molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. Scattering affects the color of light coming from the sky, but the details are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particle.” Taken from University of Wisconsin – Madison. (2007, November 15). What Determines Sky’s Colors At Sunrise And Sunset?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 17, 2016 fromwww.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108135522.htm