- Wayne Chasney
Seeking the Light of Christ
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9)
My mother did not like crows. She said they were noisy, ugly birds that scared away the small birds that she did like. Whenever she would see crows around, she would yell at them, “Go away, damn old crows.” She said it so often that one time when my brother asked his young four or five year old daughter what kind of bird that was they saw flying overhead, she replied, “That’s a damn old crow.”
I thought of that recently when I heard a story on the radio about crows moving into cities. Crows traditionally stayed in rural areas where there were lots of bugs and other things they like to eat. However, over the past few decades crows have been invading cities, both large and small.
It turns out crows are pretty smart animals. They are known to use tools and even simple reasoning to solve complex problems. This is why one theory scientists have for their urban invasion is streetlights. One of the crows’ main predators is the great horned owl which will attack them in their nest at night. In the dark. That is when owls have a distinct advantage due to their superior night vision. Being the smart creatures they are, the crows simply moved into the light where it was safer.
Like crows, I believe we are better off when we live in the light.
Here in the life of the church this is the season of Epiphany. The season begins with Wise Ones following the light of a star to find the Christ-child. The season ends with Jesus being “transfigured” on a mountaintop, his face shining brightly like the sun. In between, we, too, are seeking the light of Christ. Our world today is filled with doubt and despair which too often leads to anger and violence. We cannot give in to the hopeless. We must seek to live in the light.
Living in the light of Christ means living by the values Jesus taught such as love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.
Living in the light of Christ means caring for our neighbors, especially the “least of these” among us.
Living in the light of Christ means resisting evil, hate, and prejudice and working for peace, love, and justice.
Living in the light of Christ means living without fear because we know where to find the light.
From the Bethlehem star to the mountaintop of transfiguration and everywhere in between, may we move toward the light, just like those damn old crows.