The hoopla reminded me, however, of a comet I saw in my teens. It was an incredible sight as an object no larger than a speck in astronomical terms glowed as a beautiful lamp in the darkness around it.
Since seeing that comet, the cosmic travelers have always fascinated me, not least in the way in which they shine. Nothing more than small lumps of and ice and other frozen matter, comets orbit around the sun, of course, and are relatively invisible till they come close to the solar orb.
Once comets come close enough to the sun, however, the power of the solar wind begins to give them the visible lamp-like tails which stream out behind each comet's body and glow by reflected light. The closer they get to the sun, the brighter they shine.
For the Christian, the comet is an obvious metaphor - an analogy for a truth we all know but need to remember. Although we may be spiritually insignificant of ourselves, the closer we move to the One who is the center of our spiritual orbit, the closer we come to the One who scripture calls the “Rising Sun” and the “Day Star” (Luke 1:78, 2 Peter 1:19), the more we become visible as a light in the darkness which may surround us.
If, physically, even a “failed” comet such as Ison can attract as much attention as it did, perhaps we can see the spiritual potential in moving ever closer to the One who, through His power working in us, can make us a light in the dark.