The light is such a fragile thing.
Last night, at Easter Vigil, we were all given small candles during the portion of mass that was in darkness. As we gathered outside, it was a feat to try to keep this small candle lit against the wind, bearing a small portion of the light that was shared from the Paschal candle aflame.
Light that we can make is such a fleeting experience.
A fire can be incredibly powerful. Fires can rage, and consume vast portions of the countryside. It can cook food, warm a house, and bear light against terrible darkness.
And yet it is so dependent upon certain conditions.
A wick. Kindling. Wax. Fuel. Shelter from wind and water.
Incandescent electric light is no less fragile. Be it through a magnesium bulb, or through flourescent chemical mixtures charged with electricity, light can flicker and fade in an instant if only one requirement is missing
A chain of fairy-lights can be ruined if one bulb goes out.
A neon sign with but a mere crack will not illuminate anything.
And what dangers exist when the light is gone? A light house in disrepair can cost hundreds of lives at sea. An airport runway without light is a disaster waiting to happen.
Without light, death is but a moment away.
Light is such a fragile thing.
So when there is a light that refuses to go out, that is worth celebrating.
There is good reason for Christians to use metaphors of light when describing the power of the one whom we call Christ. Christ enters our world in the midst of a dark season. Christ dies, and yet death cannot keep him extinguished. Christ bears a light that, though in appearance fragile, is stronger than any darkness that might threaten it. Even when it goes out, it never stays gone.
The light of Christ is resurrection itself. It is that which keeps the door of death from remaining shut. Christ’s light reverses all perceived laws of entropy and decay, and infuses our world with power and life that peers into the abyss and shouts:
“You have no power over me!”
This Easter, the light is as ever threatened. Be it from natural disaster, or the sin of humanity, we are always threatened by the dark.
Light seems so fragile.
But the light of Easter, though it bears the fragility of light, it has other-worldly resilience.
May the light of Easter shine in you all.