22nd January 2018

The Light of the World

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
John8:12 (NIVUK)

People often think of space travel as going to the moon or of missions to Mars or going to some distant galaxy as described in Sci-Fi films and books. Although when standing on the earth it doesn’t feel so, in reality we are all space time travellers. The earth is not stationary, but rotates on its axis every 24 hours and completes an orbit around the sun every 365.25 days.

The solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy which is said to contain some 400 billion stars. These stars are not stationary, but rotate and swirl around the galactic centre. For example, the sun, which lies roughly 26,000 light years from the centre, completes a galactic year by orbiting around the galaxy’s central axis about every 230 million years. The Milky Way galaxy is also not stationary and scientists have calculated that the whole galaxy could be moving through the expanding universe at a speed of some 2.2 million miles per hour and could, at some distant point, presently be colliding with a nearby dwarf galaxy.

Where are we in this universe? Our absolute position cannot be established and we may ask the question; in this ever-changing physical universe are there any points of reference, any constants? Some have come to believe that all things are relative, yet Einstein’s theory of relativity is based on the premise that the speed of light is a constant of nature; that the speed of light is the same for all human observers no matter what their circumstances are and what they are doing.

Today, many seem lost in the spiritual universe of ever changing, swirling and perhaps colliding galaxies of ideas, cultures, religions and ideologies. Some have come to believe that there are no fixed points of reference; that all things including truth are relative. Yet it is perhaps no coincidence that one of the expressions Jesus uses to describe God’s nature is that God is light. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Since Jesus was God incarnate, he also described himself, as the opening scripture states, as the light of the world. God is not a light or the light but light. Although we cannot see light, it is by light that we see both physical and spiritual things.

Jesus reveals that, no matter what our circumstances are and how lost we feel, he is the reliable point of reference, the light of the world, for all humanity; he is the light by which God, spiritual truth and falsehood can be distinguished.

Prayer
Father, we thank you that we glimpse your glory through Jesus, and that through him we receive grace, truth and salvation.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion, Sheffield
Please email for Meeting Place

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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