Sunday, January 10, 2016

We Have Seen the Light

In every Divine Liturgy, following Holy Communion, we sing the hymn, “We have seen the Light, the true Light, we have received the heavenly Spirit; we now have found the true faith, by worshiping the undivided Trinity, Who has saved us.” This declaration of faith is a confirmation that Jesus Christ is the same Light that God has promised His people. We hear in the Gospel that Jesus traveled to Galilee after John the Baptist was arrested. There is a direct reference to Jesus, Who is the Light, being seen in the darkness. This was prophesied by Isaiah (see Isaiah 9.2)

We live in a world surrounded by darkness and temptation, no differently than those in Galilee at the time of Christ or Isaiah. With the celebration of the Feast of Theophany (God Revealed), the hymn from the Divine Liturgy makes more sense, but only if we allow the Light to illuminate our path. Having light shine in the darkness only has value if it leads out of the darkness. This was beautifully expressed during our candlelit celebration for Theophany last week. The Altar was filled with light while the faithful were in darkness with lit candles symbolizing the Light in the darkness. As we approached for Holy Communion, we approached the Light and left the darkness behind.

With the New Year and New Year Resolutions still lingering, we have an excellent opportunity to act upon the words of Christ. The Gospel sets a beautiful image set in Galilee, as a light in darkness. Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4.17) Now is the perfect time to follow the Light out of the darkness. Start the New Year with repentance and leave the darkness behind. 

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