“Corona” is a word that is currently resonating in our ears through every news bulletin and the casual conversations we engage in. Previous to this pandemic I only ever heard it being used in beer advertisements or in reference to a member of a Dublin band. Unfortunately, now the connotations that the word stirs are much more serious. But looking at the meaning of the word “Corona” itself in terms of astronomy I think it has powerful symbolism for us as Christians at the current time. Its definition is as follows:
“The rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars. The sun’s corona is normally visible only during a total solar eclipse, when it is seen as an irregularly shaped pearly glow surrounding the darkened disk of the moon.”
So in short, this brilliant powerful light is always there, always present but we can only truly see the sun’s corona from earth when the moon blocks out the ever flowing light from the face of the sun. The brilliance of the light from the sun is too much for the eyes of a human to take in, we know that are advised never to look directly at the sun for this very reason, even during an eclipse special glasses or lenses should be used to observe the sun.
This scientific term of a solar corona makes me reflect that perhaps we need times of darkness and void in order to appreciate the abundance of blessings that God continually shines on us in this earthly life. This current Coronavirus pandemic may be an event being experienced on a global human level but there are many other personal situations and times during our lives that God can use periods of loss and darkness in order to highlight the light and love we are surrounded by. Maybe it is through the depths of grief, the loss of a relationship, the cessation of a job, managing life with anxiety or depression; in all these circumstances God continues to surround us in His light and power no matter how dark and bleak our reality may seem. He may send people in to our path, He may lavish us with the love and support of family and friends, He may encourage us through the promptings of His Spirit in Scripture or the kind words of another person, He may renew our energy in the beauty of nature and creation. In all these dark moments He draws us into His marvellous light in a deeper way.
As we deal with disruptions to our normal everyday existence at the moment there may be a sense of loss or absence; not having the same daily routine for work, family life, social activities and interaction. Yet, this period of physical isolation is allowing us much more personal time to reflect and think about the important relationships in our lives, the blessings of our comfortable surroundings and the wonderful gift of family, friends and those in our communities who are serving and working for the good of us all. Ultimately this time can serve as an opportunity to remember the fact that it is God who is The Light of the World and it is when we are conscious of His light and love then we can come to a greater appreciation of the value of our lives and think about how we are uniquely called to spread His love.
“For once you were in darkness but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light – for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.”
Ephesians 5: 8 -9
Written by Cilla Farrell