Nobody ever talked about getting Vitamin D from sunlight when I was a kid. Back then, parents just said, “Go outside.”
Now that we have Google to guide our lives, most of us have learned that our bodies make vitamin D when sunlight touches bare skin. Good enough for summer months. But here in the heartland, bare skin outside in the winter isn’t the greatest idea. You’ll get your vitamin D, all right, along with some frostbite and hypothermia thrown in for free.
Long before humans knew about Vitamin D, King Solomon knew about the value of getting some sunlight. Tucked away in the thousands of wise sayings we have from Solomon is this ray of light from Ecclesiastes:
“The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 11:7)
His wisdom isn’t just good advice to “keep on the sunny side of life.” Solomon knew that it’s a good thing to be alive because life is a gift from God. It’s good to get outside. It’s a good thing to enjoy what God has created.
Because there will be dark days. We all face suffering, death and depression that can darken our winter months. If you keep reading Ecclesiastes you find that Solomon doesn’t pull any punches about why enjoying sunlight is important.
“Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.” (Ecclesiastes 11:8)
If you’re looking for a feel-good, Hallmark-special, Currier-and-Ives Christmas, Ecclesiastes might not be your go-to-book. If you want sentimentality, you can sit on Santa’s lap. If you want reality, you can open up Solomon’s writings.
He was the wisest man in the world but he couldn’t eliminate suffering in his kingdom. He was one of the most powerful men to ever live but he couldn’t overpower death. He understood that since none of us are getting out of this world alive, God is our only hope.
If it’s good for our eyes to see the sun, it is even better for our eyes to see The Son.
As the Word of God made flesh, Jesus felt the warmth of sunlight and the cold of night. He knows the joy of life and the agony of death — even death on a cross. But Jesus is something greater than Solomon. (Matthew 12:42) Christ overpowered death. His Kingdom will have no suffering, and no end, either.
When we expose our bare souls to the light of Jesus, He produces something more beneficial than any vitamin. He creates a spiritual supplement that gives us strength, courage and hope. You don’t have to go outside to get it. You have to go inside His Word, the Bible, and take an honest look inside yourself, as well. In Jesus, you’ll find someone with wisdom and power who shines into our sufferings and speaks words of comfort in our darkest times.
As we enter the winter season, remember the best source of light you can find is Jesus, the Light of the World.
— Gregg Madsen is the Lead Pastor of Steadfast Gretna. Reach him at email@example.com.