God: The One Who Can Be Seen

Christ is risen! 

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While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. . . .  I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:36, 46)

Archimandrite Aimilianos comments on theological terminology:

… God is called Theos, which comes from the word theasthai, and literally means: ‘He who can be seen.’ This is why God is light: so that he can be seen. (THE WAY OF THE SPRIT, p 181)

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God is light and love. Both love and light are things that can be experienced and seen. It is God’s desire that we know Him in the deepest way possible, through union with Him. Yet, there is still mystery here for God also remains transcendent, invisible, ineffable and incomprehensible. God reveals Himself to us to the extent we are able to comprehend the revelation.

In Genesis 1: 3 we read: “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” God was not only making a visible creation but more importantly made Himself visible, yet at that time there was no one yet existing to ‘see’ God. So, at that point what did light and being visible really mean beyond being a mystery?

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After God creates people and all creatures who might actually see God, God reveals His transcendent nature—ineffable, invisible and incomprehensible. This is a great theological mystery. It could be that God’s creation of light is referring to a spiritual activity, creating a spiritual reality which requires ‘spiritual’ eyes to see. When God allows His Word to be clothed in the words of Scripture, the revelation is made available (visible) to us, created and corporeal beings.

Perhaps God’s creation of light is not referring to physical things but to that other dimension—the spiritual one—in which creation also participates. This might somehow be connected to the theories in physics of a multiverse—other universes and dimensions which are not visible to us and perhaps beyond our ability to reach through normal means.  It would also help us understand the resurrection ‘appearances’ of Jesus in which the two disciples walking to Emmaus ‘see’ Him but don’t recognize Him, and the Eleven Apostles gathered in the upper room behind locked doors suddenly see Christ in their midst. [The Emmaus story is particularly interesting because the two apostles see Christ but don’t recognize Him. When they recognize Him, he disappears from their sight! Something similar happens at Christ’s Ascension.] Christ is revealing the new creation – one that is spiritual not merely physical. We begin to experience a crossing of dimensions and universes in which we are given a glimpse at how the “new creation” functions. Christ’s resurrection is thus not merely a resuscitation of a corpse, but a transformation into a new reality.

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Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. (Revelation 21:1)

Christ is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)  

Truly, He is risen!