June 07, 2008

God, Our Light

Psalm 4

“Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.”
Psalm 4:6


The light of the brilliant sunshine makes the waves of the ocean sparkle. Candlelight makes faces glow with beauty. A shaft of light in a dramatic painting rivets our attention on a scene of great beauty.

Light is one of those daily miracles we easily take for granted. Precise scientific explanations can never fully account for all the possibilities it offers.

The Bible often uses the image of light to convey God’s glory. The Bible speaks of God as our light and our salvation (Psalm 27:1), as one who “wraps himself in light as with a garment” (Psalm 104:2).

It takes a small dictionary to list all the delicious light-oriented words that we can use to describe God’s glory. God’s glory is lustrous, luminous, dazzling, glittering, radiant, shimmering, resplendent, and much more.

During the past week, we have explored many poetic images to help us contemplate God’s being.

God is like a refuge, a bird with wings, a shepherd, a potter, a mother bear, a teacher.

Each image leads us to see just a bit more of God’s glory. When we put all of them together, the picture is breathtakingly beautiful.

It’s so beautiful that, like a million-dollar view of a mountain range, we simply want to gaze with wonder and try to take it all in.

God of all grace and glory, angels and saints delight to praise you. Give us such an awareness of your beauty that with thankful hearts we will praise you in spirit and truth. Amen.

About the author — John D. Witvliet

Dr. John D. Witvliet has served as a professor at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary for the past 11 years, as well as serving as Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He and his wife, Charlotte, have four children.

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