In which there is a Father of Lights…

by Craig on December 22, 2010

Christmas lights everywhere,

an eclipse of the moonlight on the winter Solstice,

Stars and planets twinkle in the evening sky

and the Father of Lights,

shines the way to a manger.

This is day number two studying James 1:17. There’s so much, deep in the words.

“all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.”

I wrote about the “all good giving” part  here and now I come to “the Father of Lights”.

It’s a beautiful name for God, and one I think we only find here in James.

It springs from the beginning, in history – and pages in the Bible.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness. (Gen 1:3,4)

Then God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness… (Gen 1:14-18)

When James wrote this letter, astrology was a big thing. It wasn’t a tool to be used, it was religion. The stars weren’t heavenly bodies, they were gods. What astrology is today is like a grain of sand on the beach that was yesterday.

We think it’s a quaint thought, that there were so many then who worshiped the “lights” as gods – who thought the “lights” had power over us. But it was life back then in the Roman Empire, the place to which this letter was sent.

In that place you didn’t insult the stars. James takes this “insult” one step further. The God of the Israelites made the stars. They weren’t ‘gods” at all. The God whom James worshiped was”the Father of lights” and  “the light of the world” (JN 8:12) and was the creator of these so called “gods”.

So I ask, Father, what does this mean today – to me – to us?

James says you made the lights – the stars. I know how much power is in one of those. Your placement of one medium sized star, almost a hundred million miles away, allows us to live. It has power, but not of itself.

The stars,

all the lights were made,

everything that was made has a creator,

there is a long line of things out of which were born

other things

but at the end of every line

there must be

one

unmade

thing,

You.

If I need a reminder of whether you are able, I just need to look up.

In the daytime, the light blue sky is just the paper thin atmosphere that light passes through. It hides all the “lights” except for that one medium sized helium ball. At night, there are lights extending far past where I can see, beyond where I can imagine. You made those with. a. word.

If I doubt your power to control, there it is.

If I doubt your desire to protect,

well…

this tiny blue dot

suspended on a sunbeam

is awfully protected from the ravages of space.

If I’m looking for a guarantee,

that you are who the Bible says you are,

that you have power over everything

and so,

over the stuff in my one little life

I just need to look up.

I just need

to

look

up.

God Bless. And please remember that I am not done learning about this. I rely on the wisdom I get from you. If this hit you a certain way, if you have something to teach me – teach away. I need it.

Merry Christmas

Linking today with Ann Voskamp and Walk With Him Wednesdays

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymuss December 22, 2010 at 1:18 am

“…the Father of lights” Craig, you find absolute treasures in the bible!!!!!! I have heard and read that phrase but today, in your writing, and with the pictures you find, it just jumps out at me. It is, as of today, my favorite way of thinking of God my Father. Somehow it liberates Him from some of the somber, stuffy tones that at times creep into my image of Him. The Father of lights! How awesome is that!

He leaves the lights on for us…to remind us He is there, to assure us of His ability to care for us,…you have said it so well, Craig.

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Craig December 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

“He leaves the lights on for us…to remind us He is there” – love this.

And I’m thankful every time you read my words. Merry Christmas A.

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Lisa notes... December 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

How easy it is to take for granted that He is the Father of Lights. I had a dream last night about a room that was FULL of lights turned on: lamps, reading lights, desk lights, etc. How much more safe we feel in the light than in the darkness. The Lord has certainly been good to us.

I love your poetry and your formatting. I am looking up!

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Melissa December 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I love how you began this post. Your writing is beautiful. I tried so hard to stay up to see the eclipse, but I didn’t make it. I have been thinking similar to you lately about the awesomeness of God. The magnitude in size difference when comparing that “little blue spec” to the universe (at least what we know of it) is more than enough to make me bow….low. I watched Horton Hears a Who the other night, and I keep thinking of that tiny spec, and how we are minuscule specs on that spec. How can we be so valuable that God would send His Son to show us the way? I love thinking of Him as the Father of Lights–the stars in the sky, His Son and the hearts He fills. Hope you have a wonder-full Christmas holiday and a blessed new year!

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Craig December 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Thank you Melissa. I saw the last eclipse. It actually fits perfectly with tomorrow’s post. You always have to stay up really late to get the full thing – then you feel like you have to continue watching it until the moon is full again. Still, it’s the shadow of the pale blue dot – that’s kind of awesome. And Horton? Classic theology. Merry “specks on a speck” Christmas to you and yours. Thank you for reading me.

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Debbie December 23, 2010 at 1:31 am

Thank you for showing me/us about the Father of Lights. I’m with A . . .want to think of Him like this from now on! And what A said . . .He leaves the lights on for us! :) So much good highlighted here! Thank you for helping turn on our light bulbs so we can see Him!

Reply

Craig December 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

Just think of how many people might ask us the follow up question if we went around saying “I believe in the Father of Lights” _ I had a friend who used to say, “I believe in the Spirit” – people were always asking her to explain – so she did :)

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