The True Light

THE day promised to be the brightest New Year's Eve we'd had in this part of our country. To us, electricity, until quite recently, had not been a standard commodity. I was enjoying rereading articles in the closing year's issue of this paper. Then it was time for the evening news-even better, we were all eagerly looking forward to listening to the democratically elected President deliver his New Year's Day message on television. Suddenly there was a power failure. Darkness engulfed homes; dreary disappointment replaced the excitement we'd been feeling. We foresaw a dark and gloomy New Year's celebration without electric power. We were still struggling with disappointment hours later when this saying of Christ Jesus hit me: ''I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life'' (John 8:12). Honestly, it was difficult for me to accept this as true in the face of what we were seeing. I was, however, continuing to ponder and pray to understand this Christ message when the power came on again! The children, who had been with us moaning over their disappointment, jumped up and ran back to their room overjoyed. Joy returned to us all as we delightedly looked forward to the celebrations once again. Well, I found myself thinking that if something like artificial light can mean so much in our life, how about what the true light of Christ can do to enlighten existence. In everything we do, light plays a key part. And the spiritual light of understanding God is by far the most important. We discern this true light when we are obedient to God, of whom the Bible says in First John, ''God is light, and in him is no darkness at all'' (1:5). If we cannot see our way in life as a result of darkened thought, we can turn to God to light up the way with His spiritual truths as found in the Scriptures. In reality, we cannot be outside of His light because we are truly the children of light. Our spiritual and only selfhood is never darkened by material theories about man's existence. Man forever lives as idea in Mind, God. No darkness of material belief can ever keep the light of spiritual understanding from being the only true inheritance of man. Whatever material sense may portray to the contrary is just as illusive as darkness itself. God's light is our heritage. The true light cannot fail. It shines on, declaring God's omnipotence and omnipresence in the face of seeming murk. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, gives us new insight into the appearing and disappearing of light to human sense. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures she describes morning as ''light; symbol of Truth; revelation and progress'' (p. 591). And she also describes night as ''darkness; doubt; fear'' (p. 592). The description of morning is a beacon of righteousness and spiritual power that cuts through the illusion of darkness and fear. God is omnipresent Light, where darkness or evil has no presence, no reality. Darkness as a synonym of evil is a belief in the absence of light, omnipresent Truth. The dismal world of mortal belief is a false sense of things that can never put out the light of Christ, Truth. The small New Year's Eve incident of the sudden return of light in the midst of our gloom hints at the ever-present solution of problems that is perceived when spiritual truths are admitted to consciousness. No supposititious force can dim God's light. No one can hide himself from the light of Truth. As children of light we forever reflect it. We exist and move in this true Light. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. . . . That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. John 1:5, 9

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