Only three verses into the Bible we hear our Almighty Creator proclaiming “Let there be Light!” And of course there was.
Having recently returned from 12 days travelling round Scotland from the Borders, where we saw a man camped by a stream in the Lowther Hills panning for gold; to walking beside the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow with our Godson, and watching the light playing on the water and its mirrored reflections; to the mountains, sea, lonely wild glens with glittering burns, lochs and vast skies of the Highlands and Wester Ross, (and the wonderful sight of a pine marten one evening); and back down to Argyll visiting the Slate Islands of Seil and tiny Easdale without a single car, and the hydro-electric power harnessed from water rushing into Loch Awe, we have been both dazzled and soothed by the interplay of light and water everywhere, and the way light accentuates the colours, even if they’re only different misty shades of mauve and grey
St. Patrick, who brought the Christian faith to Ireland, could have found his inspiration in Scotland when he wrote!
Our God is a God of all,
God of heaven and earth, seas and rivers,
God of sun and moon, and all the stars,
God of high mountains and of lowly valleys,
God over heaven, and in heaven and under heaven,
He has His dwelling
In heaven and earth and sea, and all things that are in them.
Many of us have been inspired and encouraged by Gerry Page’s Life Gospel Choir over the last decade or so (sadly they’re now ‘resting’.) At my 60th birthday party nearly 10 years ago, they sang I think my favourite from their extensive repertoire, about the Lord himself being our light “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear” (Ps.27) Who could ever forget diminutive Cathy Long belting out those words! John in the first chapter of his Gospel tells us that Jesus is “the true light that gives light”, and Jesus himself said that not only was he the Light of the World, but that we too were to be light to others around, or as the Message says, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world”. And Paul says in his letter to the Philippians that we’re to shine like stars!
So what do we do when we’re not feeling very visible or feel we’ve lost our glow? Maybe we just need to get by a lake, or river or down to the promenade, and let the water and light penetrate our souls, and speak to us; remind ourselves as King David said that He is our God who turns our darkness into light. Or when things seem pretty gloomy and dark around us? One of the upsides of all the rain we had whilst in Scotland this time was that the little streams became foaming, rushing white torrents, and spectacular waterfalls started cascading down the hills, visible for miles, even through the murk. And we saw more rainbows than you could imagine in those 12 days, several a day in fact. And even that pine marten we saw became a black silhouette against the encroaching darkness of the evening, so perhaps we should pray that we can appear as clear, distinctive silhouettes against the backdrop of our circumstances and the world all around us. After all, without darkness, we’d never see the stars.
Creator of light
The blessing of light be upon us
The blessing of daylight
The blessing of sunlight
The blessing of Christ light
Scatter the darkness from before us
That we may walk as children of light