Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God of Light (Gods Among Us)

"When one rules justly over men,
Ruling in the fear of God,

He dawns on them like the morning

Like the sun shining forth on a
Cloudless morning,

Like rain that makes grass to sprout
From the earth."

Although the movie Thor was great in many ways it missed something someone. Balder is god of light, joy, purity, innocence, and reconciliation, loved by both gods and men, considered the best of the gods, and ruler of the gods.

But, after Odin's death, Balder seemed more lost than enlightened.

After this conversation with Loki,
Balder heads to Earth in order to clear his mind.

And, Loki reveals the truth about Balder's parents.

The reason why Balder hadn't been told that he was a son of Odin sooner was for the fear of loss of continuation of life in Asgard. If Balder had died before Ragnarok (the last battle) began then he wouldn't become resurrected. But, as it had been prophesied, if Balder were do die in the first cycle he would be reborn. And, as it turns out, most of the other Asgardians are reborn with him.

Soon after Balder discovers who he truly is, he becomes the King of Asgard. Under Loki's advice, he banishes Thor until Odin's resurrection. After Odin retakes his mantle, Balder goes to war in order to redeem what little pride he has left after unjustly banishing his brother and dies again with a noble death, a death long-foreshadowed in both the comics and the mythology.

Although he had been mislead by Loki, Balder had always wanted to be the best ruler he could for Asgard. Even though he had been consistently haunted by his past and the prophecies of his future, his main goal had always been to bring the warmth of light and truth to all areas of his reign.

At the dawn of the 18th century, Man had also searched for the truth and the light. He achieved a different sort of enlightenment, more of a benightenment. Like Balder, we reached a kind of crisis. Many of us gave up, we began to think that God was dead just like Balder knew Odin to be. But, had it really been so long since the time between testaments? Before the birth of Christ, the Jews began to give up hope, some of them lost so much hope that they couldn't believe in the Messiah when he did come. As Christians, we should be able to remember that although God can seem rather quiet He still lives and continues to work in His world and it should be our joy to be able to wait (Advent) for His physical return. We shouldn't become like those Israelites who had given up their hope before His time had come. He lives!!

Still, instead of welcoming in the Light, man repeatedly tries to covered it up. He brings on the darkness. He says, "What if there is no God?" But, even though he tries to put it out, this Light has still been able to shine through.

This shows the power of our Lord. Unlike Balder and ourselves, Christ came with a purpose. He was never led astray by false idols, identity loss, or even the Devil's tricks and lies. He has always been the Word, the Light, and the Truth and when He came into the world to show us that, He never swayed. He stayed on course. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross despising the shame, but willing to bear it. Although he is King, he was willing to cover up his crown.

Just like Balder and ourselves, Jesus knew that his life had been leading up to his death. But, unlike us, he had no fear. Unlike Balder, He knew He would succeed. And, He also knew what would happen. Unlike the "enlightened," Christ knew He could beat death. Unlike Balder, He knew the outcome. After something that appeared to be a defeat, He knew that He would rise again. This wasn't just for his selfish hope of renewal and life, but for the world. That had always been the plan. And, it will always be the plan.

In His incarnation, he served as a sacrifice. But, even before that, He was the sign. He had been born as the Light to guide us out of darkness. He is the Light that leads us to salvation, the Light that shatters the darkness of death leaving it outside of our path, the Light that guides us to the Lord and the final day with Him.

That day in the manger, more than a man was born. More than a god was born. Our God was born, wholly man, to take on our sin, and wholly God, to be able to bear it. And, even more-so, a beacon of light had come to us. This Light came to draw us from our sin, death, and the Devil, and lead us closer to Him.

This Light is far greater than we will ever know in this life. That is why we wait for the next and sing songs about its (His) birth. This Light is more that being a god/master/lord of light. He is light. And, this Light is more than any man could create for himself. Our candles and lighthouses; spotlights and police cars; our "enlightenment" and our pride, pale in comparison to this great and Holy Light, the Christ, who has chosen to illumine us with His glory in the life to come.

"He dawns on them like the morning

Like the sun shining forth on a
Cloudless morning."

Happy Advent!!!

For more on the Light, check out John and and 1 John.

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