My friend Rich Dixon is helping me out here, with posts that come just at the right time and just with the right challenge for me.
“I am the light of the world.”
I still remember the physics class. The professor demonstrated conclusively that light is a stream of particles, best understood by thinking about a bunch of tiny objects that can be counted one by one.
Then – in the same class – he showed us that light really behaves like continuous waves. And as we sat there totally confused, he posed the question we were all thinking: So, which is it? Particles or waves?
Turns out, light is…light. It’s its own thing. Understanding light requires a new way of thinking in which something can be particle and wave at the same time! Thus was born quantum mechanics and relativity and an entirely new way of understanding the universe. Thus endeth the science lesson.
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I’ll bet you’ve wondered, even as you believe, exactly how the child in the manger could really be fully God and fully human. “Logic” says that can’t happen, just as logic told a young physics student the two demonstrations he watched were impossible.
Sometimes logic isn’t logical. New ideas that don’t fit our categories requires new “logic” and new thinking.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”
Maybe He’s telling us He’s an entirely new thing that doesn’t fit old logic. When He says, “Follow me,” maybe He leads us toward something remarkable, something we can’t reach with old thinking.
Maybe He’s telling us to stop trying to fit new thinking into old boxes.
Maybe the problems we face can’t be solved with old logic. We’re sure everything’s red/blue or left/right, that it should all fit on our human continuums.
The first shall be last? Servant leadership? Unconditional, sacrificial love?
Jesus points to a new way, a third way that seems illogical, a way that doesn’t fit.
New wine…new wineskins.