Friday, January 3, 2014
Welcome, Epiphany...Welcome the True Light of the World
In the original and now classic Steven Spielberg horror flick "Poltergeist", the spiritualist who is called in to help retrieve
5 year-old Carol Anne, encourages the lost souls who have been avoiding "the light" to "go toward the light". They have been wandering in a nether dimension physically located in a house in a newly built neighborhood that just happens to have been surreptitiously built over a cemetery. Carol Anne who has been "kidnapped" for her innocent lightness of being, is jealously held captive as a comforting substitute for the "True Light" that beckons them to "pass on" to their eternal life. Most of the major paranormal events occur at night while all is dark. Darkness is the prime medium for horror movies.
While the metaphysics of all this is rather sketchy, the movie captures a truth for us; "The True Light (Jesus) that enlightens every man was coming into the world....yet the world didn't recognize Him." (John 1:9, 10b) This is the time of year (around the winter solstice) that we crave light. There's just not enough of it. Lack of it affects us physically and psychologically. The Celts, and later Celtic Christians celebrated Imolg in late January or early February, anticipating the first hints of spring and lighter, warmer days. Along with St. Brigid, they would invite with candles and hearth the Light that dispels our darkness. We need light so badly that we will sometimes cling to substitutes, hoping to lighten our darkness. Do I really need to list them? Everything from food to porn, from drugs and alcohol to shopping, from power and control to envy and bitterness. ANYTHING to keep the darkness away. Our little "Carol Annes". While the True Light beckons.
At our Christmas celebration, as I lit the Christ Candle on the Advent Wreath, I quoted the last stanza of the Benedictus (Zechariah's Song over over John, his son, who would be the forerunner of Jesus): "In the compassionate mercy of our God, the Dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine a Light on those who dwell in darkness, and in the shadow of death, and to set our feet on the path of peace." (Luke 1:78,79).
During this Epiphany, we journey together to the True Light of the Star that drew the Magi, and the True Light that was coming into the world,. If we receive Him, He gives us power to become children of God--Children of the Light--full of His grace and truth." (John 1:12, 14)
As they say in the ads' "Accept no substitutes". In this case, the off-brands truly are terrible. Sell everything you have and follow the Light. "The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of Light." (Romans 13:12)