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This is Just Too Bright!

Even for the lovers of light, there are moments when the intensity of a light is just too bright to view.  Recently, I was traveling at night and a road construction crew was working even though the darkness of night was around them.  Their ability to see was provided by a highly intense light that was so very bright it illuminated the workmen’s road project clearly enough to work without difficulty.  There are other times that we must not look into the light directly.  Examples of that kind of brightness would be the sun, a welding torch’s light, or staring at a high wattage light for more than a few moments.

Jesus said that you and I are to be the light of the world.  It is not that we are “The Light”.  Rather, we are to be light bearers.  The Lord in us causes His light to shine through us so that when we “let our lights so shine before men that they see our good works (done in The Light), they will glorify our Father, which is in heaven.”  Our countenance and actions should radiate the Light of our Lord.  For those that walk most closely with Christ, that goodness of God’s bright qualities can create conviction among those that choose to live in darkness rather than light.  We cannot abide too much bright light of any kind (moral or physical) without discomfort.

In 2004, Frank Geary finished his landmark creation of the 274 million dollar Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Now, with all that money you’d expect the building to shine and it does. The shimmering stainless steel concert hall is truly marvelous to see.  In fact, people living in a condominium facing the structure agreed that the view was glorious, but that glory became overpowering when the sun shone at midday. Portions of the gleaming concert hall reflected brilliantly into the windows of the condominium, and temperatures rose by as much as 15 degrees. This forced residents to get off their patios, draw the blinds, and turn on the air conditioner until the sunlight shifted. Jacqueline Lagrone, who lives on the fourth floor of the Promenade Residences, said, “The reflection was so very bright in our condo that you couldn’t even see. Even the furniture would get really hot. You would have to literally close the drapes, and even then, you could still feel warmth in the house.”  As Disney officials looked for a way to dull the glare, they placed mesh blankets over the mirror-like steel. While this diminished the problem, everyone agreed that it looked terrible, and a more permanent solution was sought. (Jia-Rui Chong, “Disney Hall Glare Gets to Neighbors,” L.A. Times, 2-21-04).  All too often, many of us try to tone down God’s demands and reduce the glare of his holiness so we can live more comfortably. (From a sermon by C. Philip Green, The Holiness of Grace, 4/29/2011).

May we so live that those around us can tell immediately that we walk in the Light! That is most important. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7).