Light and the Divine in the Christian tradition

In what ways are we Light to others?

Light transforms the darkness and radically changes it; light displaces darkness.

Sunbeams transform a slot canyon. Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash

Light makes learning possible.

Light warms.

Light awakens—thus the term “enlightenment.”

Light illuminates, opens us up, disarms us, brings transformation. Thus, Hildegard of Bingen painted her visions and called them “Illuminations.”

Light stands up to depression.  And to cynicism.  And to lies.  We “shed light” on lies and on shadow and on denial to get at the truth.

Light stands up to cynicism.  And to boredom or couch potato-itis or acedia.

A dance of daylight and darkness. Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

At the same time Light learns from darkness and embraces darkness and shares time and space with darkness just as day and night share common space and measure the time of the day and night but offer a very different perspective on things. 

Aboriginal leader Eddie Kneebone reminds us that daytime allows us to see the particulars of creation around us–trees, people, clouds and the rest; but nighttime invites us to see the universe–stars and the sky and the deep.

Darkness too is full of wisdom and has untold mysteries to share with us when it tells light to move over and chill out.

By declaring the Cosmic Christ the ‘light of the world,’ something is being said  about the omnipresence of the Divine in all beings, in all photons, in all atoms of the universe, in all matter. 

“Do it to the least and you do it to me.” (Mt. 25) Sculpture by Javier Ullrrich Lemus; part of the Stations of the Cosmic Christ series

This is truly incarnation at work–the Divine becoming enfleshed in matter and in light (which is ultimately what matter is according to today’s science).  The Cosmic Christ is found wherever matter is found—which is to say wherever light is found.

Light is celebrated in the entire tradition of the Cosmic Christ. 

Take any of the nine stations of the Cosmic Christ that are remembrances of pivotal events in the life of the historical Jesus that gradually grew into festive days of remembrance: John 1; The Nativity; the Baptism; the Transfiguration; Matthew 25 which reveals how all the naked, poor, hungry are other Christs and therefore light-bearing beings; the Crucifixion; the Resurrection; Ascension; Pentecost. 

Light and doxa or glory play a role in all of these transformational events. 

They are deeply embedded in the Scriptural teachings employed in Liturgies for these feast days.  All of it is urging us to keep Light alive.

The Cosmic Christ. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Light moves.  It waxes and wanes, recedes and returns.  It comes and it goes with the seasons and the weather and the time of day.  We welcome its return.  We need it, deep, deep down.  We need the light.  Light is warm.  It is fire.  It is needed.

“Light of the world” implies lots and lots of light, for the world is a vast and ever-expanding place, and light beams in every atom in the universe.

Hildegard of Bingen celebrates light when she declares: “All creation is gifted with the ecstasy of God’s light.”  Indeed, she recognizes every creature as a glittering,  glistening “mirror of divinity.” 

Adapted from Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus, Stations of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 61-63. 

Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom flowing from Global Faiths, p. 70.

Banner Image: Sunlight creates orbs around a person playing guitar. Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

How am I light for others?  For those in my profession, my co-workers?

Do I see myself also as a “glittering glistening mirror of divinity”?

Recommended Reading

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.

This is a book of meditations on the Cosmic Christ, accompanying the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Together, these images and meditations go far beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross to inspire a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times.

Beautiful full-color cards from Stations of the Cosmic Christ to aid in your meditations on the Cosmic Christ, featuring the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Step beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross and experience a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times. Includes an instruction booklet containing suggestions on how to use the cards.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Orvietobanner-no-EarlyBird-1024x281.png
Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

1 thought on “Light and the Divine in the Christian tradition”

  1. Avatar

    I’ve never heard or read anything more profound on light than Neil Douglas-Klotz’s CD set “I am: The Secret Teachings of the Aramaic Jesus” based on his extensive knowledge of the language itself.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: