In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen 1:3). This was before God had created the sun or the moon, those greater and lesser lights which He called into being not until creation’s fourth day. This first light had no physical source for its only source was the voice of God. A light with no created source and thus an uncreated light willed by God for His purposes. And yet, it belongs to creation for God called it into being as the “first thing”, the first principle of creation. When at the very beginning of creation God spoke light into existence, there were no eyes to see this light, for no creatures who can see had yet been created. Even angels (if they existed yet) have no eyes, for they are bodiless hosts. (Has God privileged humans to see what angels cannot?
Certainly an incarnate Word of God is more visible to us than them!) So this was an unseen light, and yet its existence was bright and clear and it pierced the lifeless darkness with its life-giving power. It is a light which darkness cannot overcome. As it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Cor 2:9-10) This unseen and uncreated light did not ever disappear because of darkness or sin, nor because the sun, moon and stars made it unnecessary. Even if it remained somehow hidden from human eyes and memory, it still lit the universe which God had made. Even if the serpent’s deceptive promise of opened eyes (Gen 5) caused us to lose sight of God’s spoken light, it still was there, though hidden and waiting for the right time to be revealed. For God’s creating is both about timing and visibility: in the beginning… light. And the fullness of time came, the right time to transfigure the world, a time for some to have their eyes opened to this uncreated and previously unseen light. And Jesus “was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light” (Matt 17:2). And the three disciples saw what God had prepared for those who love him – even the depths of God.
Lent is a time for us to do what it takes to see that to which we usually are blind – in ourselves (our own sins), in our neighbor (their needs, their god-likeness), and in God (light, life, love).