2.13.2011

Revelation of Black Light

The miracle of chalk art illustrates the story of Luke 1-2. The historian Luke is the hand of the chalk artist, sketching a scene that spans over thirteen years. The picture incorporates a myriad of colors and details—some unusual features, yet from an outsider’s glance the scene is an ordinary one. The picture includes two women expecting their firstborns. But wait!—the one is far too old and the other seems especially young. The townspeople are gossiping about the girl; a scandal, they say, that this “good girl” would be pregnant, and her fiancĂ© does not deny responsibility. Mystery also surrounds the older couple because of the husband’s recent malady of muteness.

The artist shows these two families (even though they live in different locations), and sketches other everyday details that highlight the cycles of time. Shepherds are on the hills in the background—it is that time of the year. The census is called—it is that time in the kingdom. Nine months pass for each woman and they give birth—it is the time of life. The couples circumcise and name their sons on the eighth day—it is the time and fulfillment of the law—and at forty days, the younger couple presents their son at the temple. The artist’s last strokes of chalk depict the son of the younger couple twelve years later, traveling to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover—the yearly time of sacrifice.

The lights dim and the artist Luke walks away. His sketch of these events, families, locations and cycles of life suddenly melt away. The black light—O light of Divine truth!—is turned upon the picture and the audience gasps in wonder. The chronos time has disappeared and kairos shines forth. The real picture, once invisible behind ordinary things, is now manifest. Scandal? No, now we see Mary embracing the angel’s unbelievable message and worshipping the Lord in humble joy. We see not only the old, mute father but now the prophetic angel meeting him in the temple—and suddenly his mouth open, pouring forth praise. And while the shepherds perform ordinary duties, the light of the Divine story—even God Incarnate—shines upon them as angels sweep them into the presence of Christ. The obedience to laws in circumcision, temple sacrifices and the Passover is suddenly transformed by the Redeeming One, who fulfills them in Himself.

The human narrative in Luke points to multiple people, locations, events, times and customs. The Divine narrative, however, illuminates these, unifying them in a single, definitive Event. It is one story, the fulfillment of the past, the hope of the future: this “black light” proclaims the story of redemption.

1 comment:

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