In the beginning, a lot of things were called good. The motion of the sun and moon, the monsters in the sea, and the critters on the land are all called good in the first verses in the book of Genesis. God does more than just create; God also gives everything in the universe worth and value. Water, land, animals, and people are created by a God who loves and values them. And since God, without prompting, has decided that everything in creation has value, we are called live lives that value everything. Much of what God creates in the book of Genesis are orders: systems of relationships where everything has a place and everything takes care of everything else in the system. But there is one thing, standing on its own, that God called good. We discover that goodness in our reading from Genesis 1:1-5 today. God created light and calls light, in itself, good.
Genesis, I think, invites us to play around with light. We don’t have to, at first, immediately place light in competition with its opposite. Even before darkness is created, God called the light good. Light does not need to be defined as the opposite of darkness. Instead light, on it’s own, has value and worth. We should explore what light is and does before we try to see what light struggls against.
So what does light do? Light illuminates. Light exposes. Light uncovers what we try to hide. Light, above all, shines. There is a reason why so many of our hymns and songs talk about light. When we focus on the light, we learn how we can act like the light. What, in our own lives, is God’s light trying to expose? What, in our world, is God’s light trying to uncover? How can our community let God’s light shine?
The light God called good is a light that is still in our universe and in our lives. And God gives us that light at different moments in our lives. When we were baptized, we were united with the light that was there at the beginning of creation – God’s true light – God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This light is a light we all carry. This light that God called God is a light that leads us. And we are invited to be just like this light to everyone we meet.
Each week, I write a reflection on one of our scripture readings for the week. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship Bulletin for the Baptism of Jesus, 1/07/2018.