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Tom Hynds photograph above is called 'Interplay of Light and Shadow' and makes me think of one of the great themes of Advent - Darkness and Light. I think the images of light and dark are used too quickly to make a 'binary' in Christian thinking, forgetting that pure light is too much to stand for any length of time, and utter darkness likewise, we live in a world of nuance and shadow and shade and light. Without shadow we see no depth or shape, without the refraction of light we see no colour.

The Church, particularly the Western Church, has used the motif of light being good and dark being bad to create negative connotations towards those of darker skin, and those from 'darker countries' as being somehow lesser - it has fuelled racism and and often implicit, if not explicit, understanding of white as superior and dark as inferior.

The picture of light and dark in scripture is much different, both light and dark have their place and both need each other and are both embraced within the Divine life. 


 If I climb up to heaven, you are there; 
   if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
  If I take the wings of the morning 
   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
  Even there your hand shall lead me, 
   your right hand hold me fast.
  If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will cover me 
   and the light around me turn to night,’
  Even darkness is no darkness with you;
      the night is as clear as the day; 
   darkness and light to you are both alike.

Psalm 139 verses 7-11


Photo Credit: Interplay of light and shadow, Tom Hynds on Flickr