The Energy of Light

Brian Bauknight



We currently have five hens and two roosters on our farm property.  For many months, we received enough fresh eggs from those five hens for two families.  Usually 3 or 4 eggs per day.  We almost never purchased any eggs at the local store.

Then, sometime around the end of September, the eggs stopped coming.  The hens seemed fine.  I still fed them “egg layer” food daily.  But no eggs.  Or very rarely one or two.  Was it old age? Was it “chicken change of life?”  Was it something I said or did not do?  Was it colder weather?

Our son suggested: “It’s the decreasing amount of daylight.  Put a light on a timer in the hen house.  It will trick the hens into thinking longer daylight hours continue.  The extra light will get them laying again.”

“Huh?” I say quizzically.  “No way! Does that really work?”

But I complied.  I put a light in the hen house and set it to go on for 3 hours after sunset in the evening and 3 hours before sunrise the next morning.  I waited.  At first, nothing. No change.  Then, after about 2 weeks, suddenly egg production resumed!  I was amazed.  We “tricked” the chickens into laying more eggs!  I always had heard that chickens had small brains; but this was an unusual phenomenon!

To add insult to my pride, when we lost electrical power in the chicken coop for about 4 days, they stopped laying again!  Until power (and light) resumed.

Is there a parable here in this season of Epiphany?  When we walk in the always abundant light of Jesus of Nazareth, we are more productive.  The light that outshines any darkness (John 1:5) gives us unimaginable energy and hope. 

One definition of epiphany reads: “A moment in which you suddenly see or understanding something in a new or very clear way.”  That’s a fairly good description of where I am right now—perhaps with chickens, but mostly with the good news of Jesus.  I see Him more clearly, and that clarity gives light and energy to my life.

I can always use more light.  And I am convinced that Jesus brings more light to life than any other expression of God throughout history. Others may bring some.  But Jesus brings an amazing blaze of light.  I pray that I can bring leadership and example to that reality throughout all my days.

May Epiphany bring you all the light you need for all the days ahead.


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