The Parable of the Light

by Christine Sine
resized eye

by Rev Sheila Hamil

Luke 11.33-36

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore, be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

My fifteen-year-old grand-daughter, Leah, has become a gifted artist over the years, and yesterday she sent me an item from her latest coursework, which really struck a chord in me. 

I really love this piece because I see here such a marked contrast between the wet and glorious glass-like quality of the human eye itself, and the soft gentle tissue of skin which surrounds it; even the eyelashes have been carefully positioned, and seem so real. I find it stunning. Her eye made me think of the reading above from St Luke’s gospel, especially: 

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.”

Apart from our eyes themselves being such a marvel, after all they are the most incredibly created and most complicated parts of the human body, they are also a gateway, into who and what we become in life. Whatever we allow through that gateway will determine how we live our lives. 

If we entertain evil, which comes in so many graphic and enticing forms in our world today, we allow darkness into our souls. I don’t believe there has ever been a time in human history, where so many distressing images of all kinds of evil, particularly pornography, have been so easily accessible, to so many people of all ages, but especially young children! And how addictive social media has become!

Incidentally I wrote a song many years ago in the late seventies, long before the onslaught of social media, which began with these words:

Held in the spell of a screen that dazzles,
Staring eyes always hypnotised!

How true to life these prophetic words have become!

We can also be easily seduced by the constant flow of advertising which tempts us become self-indulgent, to want more and more, in a world that so often closes its eyes to the needs of the poor and the disadvantaged.

But, if we make a conscious effort to set a guard on our eyes, and take in what St Paul recommends in his letter to the Philippians below, we will have light for our souls and God’s peace in our hearts. 

He writes: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4.8-9)

We can’t ever hope to make other people conform, but we can set the best example possible ourselves, and, rather than wondering what it is that fascinates those we love on their social media platforms, we could always watch with them, and become the influencers ourselves? Remember, that gateway will also let God’s light out!

We all need the Wholeness of God…this resource includes reflections and activities for coping and thriving during challenges in search of shalom as well as hope for restoration.

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