31 Jan

Text and image by Rick McVicar                 

     While the world may often reject the words of Jesus, sometimes his words are acted on to the extreme, sometimes with detrimental effects.             

     For instance, in Mark 4:21-25 (NRSV), Jesus tells his listeners to shine a light on all they do.      The modern world has done just that with high efficiency light sources, resulting in what the National Geographic Society calls “light pollution.”  Light pollution is the excessive use of artificial light that results in disrupting the natural rhythms of both humans and animals.  

     Light pollution “is affecting human health, wildlife behavior, and our ability to observe stars,” states an article on the National Geographic website. 

     Now only a few remote places on earth experience total darkness at night. Lit up skies at night are throwing off migration patterns of birds and killing off insects that are drawn to light sources, according to the website. 

     Returning to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says, “There is nothing hidden” (v. 22). LED lights and blue light computer screens are making Jesus’ words a reality. Unfortunately, wildlife needs hiding spaces. 

     Later in this passage from Mark, Jesus speaks of giving, having and taking. The amount of your giving will be returned in spades, while “those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (v. 25). 

     Jesus does not specify what is being given, being held or being lost. Since the passage begins with the subject of light, let’s say Jesus is talking about the amount of light you give. The more you shine your light on others, the more light you will have shining on you. 

     Of course, that was long before the invention of the electric light bulb, not to mention LED lights. If your light is an oil lamp or a candle, Jesus makes perfect sense. This is an instance where technology gives Jesus’ words a whole new meaning. As you can see, practicing what Jesus wants from us is not so simple in the 21st century. 

     I hope you have artful health this day and into the night, which hopefully will have some semblance of darkness.                       

A cluster of trees bending towards the center.

E                               Click on image to view animated poetry video (YouTube).

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