Last night saw the moon closer to Earth than it’s been for a couple of decades. I didn’t get a chance to go outside and have a look – I was hooked watching Che Part 1…
It did, however, remind me of an experience from my weekend at the Beacon, Lee Abbey, a while back with a group of young people exploring contemplative spiritual formation. One of our activities was a night walk, on which were encouraged to walk along a path by ourselves for about 5 minutes. What really struck me was walking along, looking at my Moon shadow – I’d never really thought about it, the possibility of having a shadow thrown by Moonlight. The moon was so bright that it was like walking along on a fairly normal British summers day!
The thought that came to me, however, as I was contemplating this, was how the moonlight doesn’t actually belong to the Moon. The light actually comes from the Sun, which is then reflected off the surface of the Moon to provide the light (and shadow) that I was witnessing. I realised that this is what my life was meant to be doing – shining as a light in the darkness, but reflecting the true source of light – showing the glory of God to the whole world, whilst making sure that people understand the hope that I have and where it comes from.
I think the following passage from Isaiah 60v1-3 rather sums up what I’m trying a little clumsily to explain above:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
And then from 1 Peter 3v15+16:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
This is the life that I believe I’m called to live and share with those around me, the ‘missio me‘, as it were…