Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


The local news is one of those things that I love to hate. We have a love-hate relationship, W_ _ _ and me. Hate is too strong of a word but I’m blanking on an alternative expression.

Ostensibly, I’m supposed to be losing my mind over the music that accompanies some area holiday lights. As I opened one box, ran another to the recycling corner in the kitchen, these bits of “the story”: Changes this year…citations…neighbors say they shouldn’t have to hear it.

So, I have grown fond of Richmond’s Tacky Lights. This is a recent phenomenon. On Thanksgiving Day and I was on the porch enjoying an unseasonably warm dusk. Across the street, the kids were shouting back and forth commands. Dad refereed from the ladder. Mom was inside. [It’s his thing, she says.] How I marveled.

This plain Jane, she who grew up on white lights and one real Frasier Fir, has come to realize that old dogs do learn new tricks. It’s okay to keep your heart soft enough, elastic enough, to embrace a new thing!

You see, or rather I am seeing, it is not the lights themselves but the way that our block and those of us on it look in them. Light, after all, is relational. It’s something that requires interaction. Light is energy. More precisely, it’s visually perceived radiant energy. That one was for you science nerds.

Makes sense, then, that we Christians took up the image from the Hebrew Bible and extended it. It was too good, too right, to scrap. For our founding mothers and fathers, light symbolized God’s presence. So it would for Christians, with the added dimension of Jesus as the dawn of a new day.

I imagine somebody saw three magi dressed in their foreign garb and found it all to be a little much; tacky, if you will. I also imagine that they have won us over because, well, we are they. Most deeply, on days when we are most true to our real selves, we will go toward the brightness of a dawn. We too cannot help but interact with the light that we pursue.

You may think you are just looking at something and fail to realize that you are at the same time reflecting it. The light of God’s glory is like that.

UncategorizedDrew Willson