the light shines in the darkness

The Daily Office is now taking us on the wild ride through the Gospel of John.  It’s frustrating, beautiful, poetic, and mysterious all at the same time.  Its glorious introduction contains these words: “What came to be in it [the Word] was Life, and the Life was the light of men, and the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not absorb it.”

Now, I know I’m cheating, but I”m going to offer a quote from William Temple on this passage:

“Image yourself standing alone on some headland in a dark night.  At the foot of the headland is a lighthouse or a beacon, not casting rays on every side, but throwing one bar of light through the darkness.  It is some such image that St. John had before his mind.  The divine light shines through the darkness of the world, cleaving it, but neither dispelling it nor quenched by it.

“As we look forwards, we peer into darkness, and none can say with certainty what course the true progress of the future should follow.  But as we look back, the truth is marked by beacon-lights, which are the lives of saints and pioneers; and these in their turn are not originators of light, but rather reflectors which give light to us because themselves they are turned towards this source of light.”

Be a mirror.  Reflect the divine light of Christ into this world of consuming darkness.

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