The Beam of Light

“Though you have not seen him [Jesus], you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 Peter 1:8-9 

A Sunbeam in a Dark Room

Have you ever noticed how a sunbeam shining past a window curtain dominates a dark room? It usually happens when you are trying to “sleep in.” You’ve got a day off from work and no commitments, so you intend to revel in the ambrosia of sleep without demands. But, then, the sun finds a gap in the only window which sunlight can creep through and glare straight into your eyes.

No matter how you try, you can’t find a way to position your body away from that beam of light. Finally, you look straight into the beam, and when you do, you see the beauty of the day; blue sky, puffy clouds, and the sun dominate your view, filling you with awe and wonder at the beauty you see.

C.S. Lewis wrote a similar but exceedingly better analogy about a beam of light shining through a crack in a wall of an old garage. He made a valuable observation. We can either be the person that contemplates the shaft of light or be the person in the beam of light, immersed in the light and enjoying God.

Marinade in the Holy Spirit

Lewis called observing the beam Contemplation and immersion in the beam Enjoyment. For Christians, we need Contemplation – reading God’s Word, listening to a good sermon, listening to an edifying Christian podcast. Contemplation teaches us the tools we need to be effective in the Body of Christ and often leads us into the beam; into the presence of God.

Nevertheless, acquiring spiritual tools is not an end in itself. The purpose of tools is to use them, so that’s where we need to spend the majority of our time. We need to “marinade” in the Holy Spirit, having the Holy Spirit on us, in us, around us, and shining out of us; being in the Light of God is Enjoyment. That is where we need to spend most of our time – in the beam!

Westminster Shorter Catechism has this Q&A:

Q: What is the chief end of man? 1
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Living in the Beam

There is a considerable difference between seeing the beam and being in it. Before salvation, all we could do was see the beam. We could contemplate it. We’d see the beam, occasionally, in someone. We might contemplate the beam on Easter and Christmas and at funerals. The saved and the unsaved can contemplate the beam, but only a child of God can enter the beam. Contemplation is vital, but Enjoyment is where we should live.

Photo by Kaique Rocha,, accessed on July 2, 2022

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1: Heidelberg Catechism, accessed on July 2, 2022

Hike Lake Landscape Man Mountain Ranges

Rest and Reflection

Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore.Matthew 13:1–2

I love Matthew 13:1–2 because we get a glimpse of Christ’s nature. We know that Jesus is God from (John 20:28), when the Apostle Thomas was confronted by Jesus, after His resurrection: Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28, John 14:8-10) Still, in today’s text, we see, just for a moment, Jesus enjoying His creation (Psalm 89:11).

We see that Jesus gets a late start for his rest beside the lake. (Psalms 33:6) But in these few moments, Jesus sits beside the lake; He created the lake, water, and all that lives in it. They all know their creator (Isaiah 55:12). Did they turn their attention to Him? Did they honor Him? I think they did. This makes His personal time at the lake a time of seeing His Creation reaffirming His original statement, “It was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

You and I each have, through Jesus, gifts, and callings. (Romans 11:29) These were decided before Creation was made. (2 Timothy 1:9) It is good for us to remember our gifts from God, and to recall times when, by faith in God, we used our gifts and callings. (1 Samuel 17:36) These times have a very short “shelf-life.” Soon, just as with Jesus resting by the lake, we must return to our ministry, but we return refreshed, reinvigorated to do the work Jesus has called us to.

I hope you see that rest and reflection are gifts from God. (Isaiah 40:31 They are part of the light burden Jesus places on us. (Matthew 11:29)

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