The Beacon of Salvation
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Have you been noticing how often light is mentioned in the Scriptures or how many ways light offers its blessings to us every day? What a varied gift we have in light! And, how gracious of our God to be the light of the world and to call us to be light, too!
Reflection (pun still intended)
There is a poetic, long psalm that paints a multidimensional picture of the miracle of God’s salvation. Psalm 107 talks of healing, of rescue, of guidance, of deliverance, and more. It is a treasure trove of metaphors for how God’s saving grace redeems our lives from the often-harrowing realities of being human. One of the stories it tells is of “those who go down to the sea in ships,” who have gotten lost in a storm and need to be safely brought “to their desired harbor.” Sometimes, salvation looks like weathering a storm and making it safely home, guided by grace.
Have you ever visited a picturesque lighthouse on a balmy, blue-skyed day? Did you imagine the keeper’s intense tending of the flame or the anxious horizon-scanning of the ships’ captains who relied on the faithful light to warn them away from rocks and point them on their way, toward the safety of their desired harbor?
Light can be a beacon, illuminating danger and indicating safety. To make our journey home, we need light to warn us and to welcome us.
God’s illuminated presence warns and welcomes. The pillar of fire must have shed a frightening light of safety in the wilderness. The shining countenance of God was too much for Moses in its intensity and holiness, yet it is the very face that turns to us and shines on us in blessing, offering peace. The beacon of God’s life reminds us that we are imperfect, vulnerable humans and that we are the apple of God’s eye.
This is the week during Epiphany when the Church remembers Mary and Joseph’s visit to the temple, where they consecrate Jesus and where they encounter Simeon and Anna—two faithful people on the lookout for any glimmer of the breaking light of God’s salvation.
When Simeon meets the young family, he speaks from a Spirit-filled place, “Now, Master, you are letting your servant go in peace as you promised; for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have made ready in the sight of the nations; a light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Simeon holds that baby and recognizes the beacon of salvation. He sees a lighthouse of safety, both its warning and its welcome, that will become visible to the whole world, showing us all the way home. What glory!
Some Light Prompts for You
Spend time in Psalm 107 and consider all of the metaphors for salvation. How does God’s light of warning and welcome make a way for all of us, in our variety of messiness, to find our way home?
Read up on Georgia’s lighthouses. Consider the critical importance that natural light played in safe navigation before we had electric lights and computer navigation systems. What does light as a beacon of salvation have to do with your life, today?
Take time to enter into the story of Simeon and Anna with this guided imaginative prayer time from Contemplative at Home.
Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light
Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
Blessed are you
the light lives,
the brightness blazes—
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith,
in stubborn hope,
in love that illumines
every broken thing
- Jan Richardson
The Kaleid Team