The Power of Light

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington and a college junior

  • What caught the attention of the wise men who made it their mission to find the “King of the Jews” (Matt 2:2)? It was the light of the star of Bethlehem (planets, we now suspect) that guided them to Christ Jesus.
  • What made the shepherds want to find the babe in the manger? They were captivated by the “glory of the Lord” which “shone round about them” (Luke 2:9).

Even the smallest amount of light can penetrate the darkest heart and reveal what is really there, what is true in God's eyes. The light of the Christ came to enlighten the world -- our experience, our consciousness, our being. And it's still working today. No matter how desperate a situation, the Christ is there to give light and healing.

The early Christians knew about the power of the light. They took to heart Jesus' command, "Ye are the light of the world" (Matt 5:14). A college student has examined the letter to Titus found in the New Testament and creatively rewritten Titus 1:4-13. In his poem, he focuses on the difference light makes.


Source and Reflection

The sun breaks over the top of the city
Darkness fading back into the night
Creatures of wanton despair and pity
Wander aimlessly, turned away from right

The sun though is searching
Probing every house dirty or clean
For reflections just perching
Ready to carry its beams

A mirror, a puddle,
Or even a glass
To reflect upon others
And others to pass

But this reflection
It has to be pure
For the sun beams' direction
Cannot be stirred

The glass cannot be cracked
The puddle must be clean
Only then can reflection be stacked
Upon reflection to be seen

So the light trickles forth
Throughout the town from its source
And those still clinging to the night's remorse
Are washed away with heavenly force

Explanation of Poem:
Crete, the city that Titus is appointed to redeem, is typically thought of as a horrible place, full of gluttons, fornicators, and sinners. In my poem, I tried to convey what happens when light hits darkness, specifically a dark city. Titus, who expresses or typifies the light, is tasked with finding bishops or leaders for the soon-to-be church. The letter to Titus explains how these men must be pure of heart, good-natured, calm, and collected. They are indicated in the poem as the clean, reflective objects, which must be clean and whole, as they will be spreading the word (or the light, as John's gospel explains). Then, I used the light to wash away the darkness. While that is meant to symbolize the cleansing of Crete, this action does not actually take place in the letter. Nevertheless, the power of light to reveal and cleanse is still active today. 

Here's Titus 1:4-13 from the NIV Bible

4To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
     Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus' Task on Crete
5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer[b] is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. 10For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." 13This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith.