It means so much to us, but you may not think about this, before about a hundred years ago, light always meant fire. Anytime people would read the Bible and they come across a line about light, they would immediately think of fire.
So many illustrations in the Scriptures of the presence of God is likened to light. It is something that human beings have always greatly valued, obviously. It means so much to us, but you may not think about this, before about a hundred years ago, light always meant fire. Anytime people would read the Bible and they come across a line about light, they would immediately think of fire. Whether it was the fire of a candle, or a cooking fire, or the noonday Sun. Light always was a component of fire and fire has to be treated with respect. I think this helps us understand the lines in the scripture about the fear of God. That a healthy respect for the power of God, just as you respect fire, and as that light that fills us, it’s sort of like fire moving through a lump of coal. We’re like a lump of coal, you know, there’s nothing to boast about, nothing to be proud of. Coal is not very attractive and it’s cold, and dusty, and dark, but it has one talent, one thing coal can do very well. It can bear fire. It can take on fire and be filled with fire. So the process of theosis is one where we’re trying to get the impurities out of that lump of coal, where we’re trying to release more and more of ourselves to be taken over by the light, the love, the fire of God. Naturally this means that somebody has been very well taken over by this energy, this presence of God, will do the things that Christ did. As our Lord said, “The works I do you will do and greater works will you do.” So there’s very frank expectation in Orthodoxy, that sort of surprised me, that we will still see miracles today. I hear miracle stories all the time. Miracles are still going on because God is still present in His church, He is still filling His people, He still loves us, He still listens to prayers.