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Lightbulbs and Spiritual Power
All  |  Feb 6, 2023

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Luke 11:33-36

Do you remember when LED lightbulbs first began populating shelves at Walmart or Lowe’s? I do. After all, twenty years ago when I was first practicing the art of home rental-ship, I knew how to buy lightbulbs. Look at the wattage, and that tells you brightness. If I wanted to have a bright bulb, 75-100w is my flavor. Softer? 40-60w did the trick. That decision used to be simple. 

Enter the LED bulb. When LED bulbs came along, I had to learn to speak the language of lumens - a measurement of brightness - and to accept that watts had nothing to do with brightness at all. (Crazy, right?) In fact, as it turns out, using less wattage is better for the environment, and having the right amount of lumens was more a question for the bulb. 

As Jesus would have us see it, we talk about our faith, our spiritual life, in terms of lumens and not in terms of raw power as well. “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,” Jesus concludes. It’s not what we consume that’s the story of our transformation, it’s what we put out into the world.

So the question comes, what energizes and powers our spiritual brightness? Jesus gives us his answer. It’s how we see. “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light …” Jesus explains. What does he mean? An enlightened eye? A mature eye? I’ve wondered about his meaning. In the end, I think Jesus means a focused eye. An eye that looks for his kingdom. An eye that is trained on him. That is a healthy eye - one that perceives that Jesus matters most - which illuminates the whole person. 

Oh the light which an eye focused on Jesus produces! It’s the only way to live in God’s world, in God’s ways.