A View of Everything
Watching the Sunrise over Stonington Harbor, Maine
It is quite unlikely that this little gull’s brain was filled with philosophical or theological thoughts as it watched the rising sun drive away the darkness hiding Stonington Harbor and the thoroughfare. In contrast, human minds constantly deal with values and meaning and purposes even while enjoying a sunrise. C.S. Lewis once said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
As we search for enlightened answers to questions about cause and reality, our observations, our experiences, and the considerations we give to what others say or have discovered create for us a view of “everything else,” an intellectual understanding which shapes our emotional and spiritual responses to our personal world. Lewis, a converted atheist, found answers in the person, life, teachings, and purposes of Christ, who became the framework for his world view. He saw life through the lens of Christianity.
Some say that we imagine religious answers because we long for reasons. The more compelling argument would be that we long for reasons because we were made for them, that we were created with the capacity for goodness, love, honesty, integrity, holiness, and joy, and that there is a transcendent quality and purpose and meaning behind them. Because of that, we curiously and constantly probe for answers which hold ultimate meaning.
Just as the rising sun pushes back the darkness, Christianity pushes us to consider our greatest possibilities because Christ shines a brighter and broader light on the workings of our universe. He makes sense of this world and its brokenness. His teachings speak to ultimate reason, truth, reality, and providence. John, the Apostle, spoke of Christ as “The true light, which gives light to everyone…”.(John 1:9) And Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Belief in the person and redemptive work of Christ sets us on the path meant for us, a path of joyful expression of divine love and grace. He lifts us from our dusty limitations to the great, eternal story lying beyond and behind the cosmos and transports us from the kingdom of darkness where rebellion and lawlessness and guilt and shame and condemnation reign, into the Kingdom of God where grace and love reside.
Tim Hughes‘s song expresses it this way:
Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, Let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you