Bioluminescent Saints

Glowing Fish
After watching “Edith Widder: The weird, wonderful world of bio-luminescence” I cannot help drawing an analogy between John’s gospel and creatures who live in constant, utter darkness and generate their own light.

“And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (John 3:19–21 NRSV)

Why do these creatures create light and why only when they’re not alone? Since it doesn’t lead to reproduction or food, Widder suggests it might be defense. However, it attracts the squid in the video instead of repulsing it. It must be something else.

Maybe the bio-luminescent sea creatures produce light in response to interaction because that is when they know they have an audience. Perhaps they are making their best effort to bear fruit and bring glory to God.

“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (John 15:8 NRSV)
Can tiny sea creatures bear effective witness to the glory of God?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Bioluminescent Saints

  1. It’s interesting that the light they produce draws the attention of predators. If they simply stayed dark, then they would be safe; however, they would entirely betray who and what they are.

    To continue your analogy, perhaps the shining light draws the attention of “the enemy.” Rather than growing dark, they stay lit up for others to see, thus risking—though not afraid of—the ones who would utterly destroy them. Their faith is strong indeed.

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