By Chuck Robison
Ancient mythology used the Winged Sun as the symbol for the light shining in us which is God present in all our lives. Much of our mythology is based on the Sun’s movements from Solstice to Solstice and Equinox to Equinox. The Sun is in fact The Light of The World. Jesus may have referred to himself as the Sun of God when he also called himself the Light of the World.
When I was a little boy thinking about Christmas, I thought about quiet candle-lit nights and people traveling in darkness to reach a small town before tax time. Into this darkness came a bright shining light, first as a star and then as the bright eyes of a new-born child. Although I felt the conflict with light and darkness then, it was not until I became an adult that I understood more of the conflict.
T.S. Eliot said it so beautifully:
“We are light, we are attracted to light and yet we also want darkness.
In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain.
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for work or play.
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad to sleep,
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night and the seasons.
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and relight it; Forever must quench, forever relight the flame.
Therefore we thank Thee for our little light, that is dappled with shadow.
We thank Thee who hast moved us to building, to finding, to forming at the ends of our fingers and beams of our eyes.”
When light arrives to dispel the darkness it can create fear. The angels counseled those present, “Be Not Afraid”. We are experiencing that fear right now. Those of us who have experienced a new awakening, a new view of the world, a new sense of oneness with all humankind and all of creation rejoice at what we see and experience. It feels like God’s Light shining right out of our hearts.
But for others, a new light, a new way of seeing the world, a new paradigm can be frightening and we cast about for a way to defend ourselves against the fear caused by new ways that disturb our tribal values.
Jon Stewart recently said that the secret of America is that we are trying to bring members of tribes from all over the world to live in a new kind of global harmony. It is a difficult situation and we see in our recent election that this fear has created even more fear and a leader who is a master at playing us with our fears.
When Jesus brought the Light into the world, the Bible records that the darkness was threatened. As the old world dies it will always take steps to preserve itself and the old powers will rise-up to extinguish the light. Moses was pursued by the Pharaoh; Jesus was hunted down by Herod’s troopers. And yet the world changed.
America is now at one of those light extinguishing moments. We now have a choice. We can follow leaders who seek to divide us and turn us against each other, or we can stand our ground and stay firmly in the light of God’s oneness. The choice belongs to every one of us and it is ongoing.
But the sun will rise, light will shine down upon us and from within us and the new world will arrive. And God, not hate-filled leaders, will prevail.