In a sermon, Tony Campolo reflects on the meaning of Jesus' saying, "I am the light of the world." He begins pointing out the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, then says we are unable to comprehend that fact because we can't travel at such a speed. If we could we would discover two things (based on theories mostly relating to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but also through observations of space): 1 - Time would get compressed. At some point speed catches up with time so that traveling fast enough, there is no passage of time at all; and 2 - Mass expands with speed. Here Campolo quips, "Don't let anyone ever tell you you're overweight, just say, "I'm traveling too fast!"
Looking at the first point, Campolo points out that this is the reason Jesus could say, "Before Abraham was, I am." In Jesus is all of eternity. He is the light of the world. God is like the speed of light. In God's time there is only eternity, all of existence brought together. It took humanity almost two thousand years in developing our comprehension of the speed of light to catch up with what Jesus said long ago. But what makes this connection between science and faith even more astounding is what Jesus said about us:
"You are the light of the world." We are to be bearers of God's light modeled in the life of Jesus. When we do this, all of eternity comes to bear. God shows up. God works through us. When we allow God to shine through our words and actions, God uses us in ways that go far beyond the moment.
When we take a moment to express sympathy or compassion, God shines through.
When we stop to help another (as I observed a woman at a store recently who helped an elderly, feeble Asian woman struggling with English, to get her groceries to the car) God shines through.
When we practice generosity like we did in supporting the New Era Church after-school program, God shines through.
When we seek to understand a different opinion and show respect for others rather than putting them down, God shines through.
When we bite our tongue and refuse to be speak the unkind word, God shines through.
So maybe we can travel at the speed of light after all. How can God shine through you today?