I love the word “illumined.” It plays a prominent roll in the Collect for Sunday, so it is on my mind this week.
Merriam-Webster says that it is “archaic,” but how so good fall our of regular use?
1 archaic : brightened with light
2 archaic : intellectually or spiritually enlightened
When I think of illumined, my mind is immediately taken the Illuminated Psalter that sits on my bookshelf, which in that case means something like “decorated by art,” but to me is just as valuable as being brightened by light or spiritually enlightened.
Our prayer this Sunday asks that God’s people, having been “illumined by Word and Sacraments” might shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory. I’d say that’s a noble goal, perhaps the ultimate goal of our journey of faith. If at my funeral, someone stands up and says, “Steve shined the light of Christ,” my time here will have been a success.
As my brain pings around this afternoon, I’m reminded of an analogy told by one of my youth group students more than a decade ago: one she most certainly borrowed from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. We are clay pots, cracked and worn from use, but the light of Christ that exists within us, shines through those imperfections, showing the world his glory. Here’s a cheesy picture to remind you of that thought.