I received a tactical flashlight as a gift.  I am a flashlight freak and my home is littered with flashlights that either have no batteries or dead ones.  This flashlight is amazing.  The brightness is incredible and it has different functions.  There is a very bright regular setting, and there is a lesser setting not quite so bright.  There is a setting for signaling in emergency and then, my favorite, a mind numbing and confusing intruder stopper.  Looking at that setting even from behind the light beam is addling.  It is bright and flashes irregularly.  This from police magazine –

“Flash/strobe disorientation is the result of an “after image” or temporary visual imprint caused by a brief exposure to high-intensity light levels. This image varies with light level and time duration or frequency of the exposure. The disorientation occurs as specific light frequencies affect the brain and the light cycles through those frequencies too fast for the brain to adjust.

Strobing tactical lights do not allow the photoreceptors to reset, which shocks an individual’s vision. Strobing bright light forces the brain’s perception input to arrive in segments, thus creating after images as the brain labors to fill in or complete the partial image created by the momentary exposure of the strobe. These after images compound with each strobe exposure, which increases perceptual disparity.”

That made me think of the effulgence of God’s glory, Jesus, the true light that came into the world.  Hebrews 1 says that Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory.  John said that in Him was life and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot comprehend it.  (John 1).  The Bible is full of themes of darkness and light and this view of Christ as God’s Glory is quite stunning.  Think of my flashlight.  I took it to a dark chapel and it illuminated everything, the whole huge room.  It also emphasizes the shadows.  The shadows can be cast aside like works of darkness when one sees the light.  It can rescue.  Jesus as the light of the world rescues from sin and death and the power of the devil.  It can discombobulate.  The Gospel preached in it’s bare majesty to the darkness completely disorients everything.  It causes all kinds of problems.  As we have said in other blogs, when unbelief is confronted with the light of the Gospel the response is “you must be crazy”.  There is a perceptual disparity between what I believe about myself and what God says about me.  I think I am pretty hot stuff and confronted with God’s glory I realize I am nothing.  When I get a handle on that the Gospel disorients me again and  proclaims that I am an object so valuable that God’s glory came and died for me on a cross.  It is disorienting and viewed apart from the light, it is madness.

Luther: “He (the writer to the Hebrews) calls Him such a Brightness as proceeds from the glory of the Father; as the rising dawn of the sun, carrying with itself and in itself the entire sun; being not a part of the glory but the whole glory of the whole sun, shining from the sun and remaining with the sun. Therefore here in one word the birth, the unity of natures, the distinction of persons, is. taught. For Christ is continually being born eternally of the Father, always goes forth as the sun in the morning and not at noon or eve. Personally, He is not the Father, as the brightness is not the sun; and still is with the Father and in the Father, neither before nor after Him, but equally eternal with Him and in Him, as the brightness is at the same time with and in and on the sun. Christ is the emanating brightness of the glory of the Father; in other words, He is only-begotten God and not the begetting God, yet perfect and whole God, like and as the Father.”