Recently, I painted a room in the house that has a wall at a kind of kitty-corner to the rest of the room. The paint on this wall doesn't seem to match the rest of the walls, even though the paint all came out of the same can. Obviously, it’s the angle of the light that makes a difference. No matter what time of day or what light source we use, the colour of this wall will always be slightly different from the walls it’s adjacent to. There’s nothing wrong with the way the walls look, it’s just that the paint colour looks different because of the way the light reflects off of it.
Believe it or not, that wall got me thinking about the light of Christ and how that light reflects off of each of us differently. And thank God it does.
Imagine if we were just one colour, just one tone: how boring that would be. And sure, a dictatorship is the most efficient form of government; one person to make all decisions, but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each of us, even those who reflect Christ’s light quite differently, forces us to consider each person’s presence. We must never forget that the light of Christ might be reflecting best off of that one dissenting voice, or off of the outsider. It makes for messy governance; it’s slow and tiresome at times, but it’s what we do to be open to the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit.
In fact, we are not just many shades of a colour; we are a full spectrum people – a rainbow people. Perhaps, the mostly likely place to see a reflection of the light of Christ is from the people we've never considered before. In our Gospel today (Luke 7:1-10) nobody, perhaps even Jesus, expected to see such faith in a Centurion, an outsider.
A real sign of faith is when nothing we have or do is so precious that we wouldn't willingly and eagerly give it up for the Gospel. O God, make that sentence as true for me as for anyone. Amen.