I AM the Light

By Rev. Ed Townley
I AM the Light

Claiming the Light—a Work in Progress


As I consider the power of light, I remember a cold, dark October night in a small town on Long Island—a town in which I was a visiting stranger. I still recall the feeling of roaming up and down the confusing streets, looking for a light.

My life to that point—especially the preceding decade—had largely been spent in a sort of dark fog, trying to make my life work on my own terms. I think we’ve all walked those dark streets, in one form or another, at some time in our lives. Those uncomfortable memories are what make our eventual discovery of Truth so much richer.

To make a long story short, I painfully hit bottom in that darkness, completely powerless over my addictions, my health, my entire life. With great fear—and no hope—I picked up a phone and made a call to a friendly voice who assured me all was not lost. There were others like me, and in fact there was a meeting that night not far from where I was staying. “You can walk there,” he assured me, and told me to look for the light beside the door.

Well, I got lost—hence the roaming—but finally I spotted a door across the street with a welcoming light shining beside it, and I crossed to check it out. I followed the light. As it turns out, it was the right light, and the darkness within me began to subside, little by little.

The dark has subsided considerably since then, not just for me but for all of us, for our collective consciousness, and that’s progress. That’s a sign we are moving in the right direction, learning to use our Christ power to create the new kingdom one tentative choice at a time.

I know, I know! We’re not there yet. Those “Welcome to the Kingdom” banners are still a bit premature. We all have much work still to do. But it’s truer now than ever that the kingdom is at hand. It was once a vague concept in consciousness. Now it’s a work in progress!

How can we adequately describe to others the experience of being that progress? Where are the words that can explain the joy of discovering that we ourselves are the light—the divine energy we’ve been seeking, the energy that allows us to make manifest an uplifted consciousness?

Jesus clearly faced the same challenge; he used many different images in his attempts to get the idea across to his diverse listeners. The kingdom is like a farmer sowing seeds of new possibility; it’s like a housewife whose joy is great in finding a lost coin; it’s like a merchant who finds a pearl of great price (all from Matthew 13).

I think the image he uses most, however, is the image of light. He wanted his listeners—as he wants us today—to find and recognize the light that is our true expression.

“I am the light of the world,” he said. “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5).

Other writers, from Paul through Revelation, used the same image of light to describe the ineffable—the effect the teachings of Jesus Christ will have upon our life experiences. What they describe is not the opposite of darkness; it is a light that has no darkness. It is the light we truly are, shining as new possibilities, new choices.

It’s not that in the light we are free from fear-based ideas, whether from collective consciousness or from our own sensory input. Rather, it’s that we now know the light we are, so our choices become surer and easier.

It would seem Jesus Christ knew what he was doing when he chose to speak to us often of the light. We are the Christ, and in that Truth our kingdom lies, waiting to express through our clear, loving, and light-filled choices.