When we moved three years ago, I was on a mission to get better lighting into our new house. Simple enough, right? Well, it turns out that there have been major changes in the lighting world since I last investigated. I remember going to the store, back in the day, to buy lightbulbs and it was typically a five-minute stop. Behold! Overnight, the lighting aisle of my favorite box store grew exponentially! The choices! Old-fashioned incandescents (don’t even look at these because I’m convinced the EPA has cameras trained on them, watching for old codgers like me to pick them up, whereupon they report us to Troglodytes Anonymous), fluorescents, halogens, LEDs. Then the shapes! There are 20 of those on offer. For bulb bases, there are 10! For sizes, there are 80! For colors, frankly, I lost count. Sorry. So, anyway, back to my mission. It may be age related but I like plenty of light for working, reading, other tasks. Research recommended LEDs as the way to go, but they have Lumens, not watts. (First there was the metric conversion challenge, now this!) One light fixture I liked boasted 600 Lumens, so I thought that sounded like a big number. Only when you convert that, you have 25 Watts to squint in – more nightlight than reading lamp! Finally, it became clear that the starting number to consider was 3000 Lumens. Certain of these fixtures conveniently came dimmable for greater ambiance flexibility. So, the mission, firmly planned out, fully informed, with almost no anxiety, was on! And I’m happy to report, having logged about 100 hours of online searching, I can see clearly now.
Light, of course, is critical on our journey to the Father’s heart. Not lightbulb light, but clarity, confidence, even boldness. I think sometimes I (we?) live with Jesus’ ‘light’ on a dimmer switch at the low setting, just enough to avoid total darkness, but not enough for confident striding, not enough for living in his promised Shalom. Maybe we couldn’t bear it if we were to catch him at full power, much like Peter, James, and John seeing Jesus transformed in terrifying, blinding brilliance on the Mount of Transfiguration. Or, like when Jesus told the disciples: “There is so much more I would like to say to you, but it’s more than you can grasp at this moment.” (John 16:12 TPT) But I do think more of Jesus is needful in our day, more awareness of his love for us, more time spent with him as our sole soul agenda, more of his revealing himself to us in Scripture, more familiarity with him speaking to us, comforting us, consoling us, encouraging us, cheering us, rescuing us, healing us. Hear the passion in Jesus’ voice as he says to the twelve gathered in the Upper Room: “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering.” (Luke 22:15, MESSAGE) It would seem he eagerly desired to share more and more of himself, his light, with these friends in ministry, these heroes-in-the-making, who, like Jesus, were about to enter a shocking, disorienting time of deepening darkness and intensified suffering, where they would need more of that offered light in the days ahead. This same Jesus, this same Light, is always renewing his invitation to us to turn up his light. It’s gonna be a very lumen-ous year, y’all! PD