“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5 NRSV)
The light changes so quickly this time of year. After the winter solstice, daily light increases quietly, persistently, noticeably. The quality of the light changes, too, softening from the hard, crystalline light of winter to the gentler, caressing light of spring.
In this season of Epiphany, we celebrate light -
- the light of Christ that came into the world,
- the light of a star that led magi to the Christ child,
- the light of revelation that points to Christ in ordinary things.
The light shines in the darkness, no matter how murky the night. It shines in the darkness, no matter how fearsome the grief or gloom.
How do we learn to see the light, even in the darkest of physical or spiritual nights? We can begin with a simple Epiphany practice of noticing light.
Each day between the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6 and Ash Wednesday on February 26, notice something about the ordinary presence of light -
- the way it increases both morning and evening,
- the way it filters through trees,
- the way it makes puddles sparkle.
Look around and notice -
- when the last Christmas lights in your neighborhood disappear,
- how the street lights in your community succeed or fail at illumining,
- how colors look different on overcast days and sunny days.
Take a moment every day simply to notice just one ordinary thing about the extraordinary gift of light. Because noticing physical light in the world and in your life is training you to see the light of Christ that shines in every darkness.
Enjoy the light.
Bishop Susan Goff