Lenten Devotional, March 10 – by Jim Sturdevant


Art reflection on “I AM the Light of the world”

“Then Jesus spoke again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. 
The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” –John 8:12

Light is a significant metaphor in the Bible. It appears early. “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). It appears late. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light” (Revelations 22:5). It appears about 250 times in between (jesusdust.com).

The Bible teaches us that light comes from God. Darkness is the absence of light. Philosophers say similar things about good and evil, evil being the absence of good. (jesusdust.com).

The light metaphor reminds me of painting in transparent watercolors. Like God started His creation with light, a watercolor painter starts the creation with white paper. The artist “makes” light by loading his brush with paint so thin the white of the paper shows through. 


For example, in this watercolor painting, I used thin watercolor washes to let the paper show through to represent the sunlight-drenched church and other buildings. I painted this “plein air” (outdoors, on-location) during a summer morning at the site of my daughter’s wedding. The hill-top town is Cortona in the Tuscany region of Italy. My challenge, and the challenge of any watercolor painter, is to add just enough paint, but not too much, to capture the scene. 

The watercolor painter lets the paper shine through to create light. Likewise, we are called to let God’s light shine through us. “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:15-16).