In the Book of Genesis, we read these words. ” God made the two great lights...the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night...and the stars. God saw that it was good and there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.” Two lights. One that brings light to our days and is baking us with heat today, and the other to bring light in the darkness. There are many scriptures about light, and I have written about light before. But as I was thinking about light today...watching the sun rise, I had a thought. I know, that is always dangerous! Just ask Barb!!!
But here's the thing, most people want to shine brightly, bright enough that people can see them. Shining brightly calls attention to us, for better or worse. Jesus speaks of light, telling us that no one lights a lamp and then hides it under a bushel where no one can see it. And we are called to let our light shine so that people can see Jesus in us and give God glory. We know that in the scheme of things, light is generally good, and dark is usually bad. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us in 11:7,” Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.” If you have ever lived in a place where there are days, even weeks where it is light, but you cannot see the sun because of clouds, you know what the writer of Ecclesiastes is talking about.
We know that the bright light of day helps us see where we are going. It also exposes flaws, sins and things we do not want people to see. It is easier to work outside in the daylight. It is easier to drive in the daylight. Not as many bad things happen in the bright light as they do in the darkness. My old grocery store in south Phoenix was a whole lot less scary in the daylight than it was at night. In the Book of Isaiah we read, ”The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.” Isaiah 60:19-20. And again, in the Book of Revelation,” I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the lamb.” Revelation 21:22-23. All of this... bright light.
If you asked, most people would want to be the bright light...to brighten up someone's life. But instead of being the bright light of the day, what would happen if we were the moon instead and we shine light in people's darkness. We would still be shining the light of Christ, only in places where people need it most. We read in John 1:5,” The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” This is the light of Christ that shines in the darkness. Sometimes, when our world is dark and heavy, even a pin prick of light brings hope. When pain or grief or worry rests heavy on us in the night, the very first rays of light in the morning darkness is cause for rejoicing. Think about Sailors in the inky darkness who have lost their way and then they see the light of a lighthouse off in the distance. What relief that is.
Many of us know people who are living in the gloom of darkness even in the bright light of day. Their grief is palpable. Worry has caused them to become shells of their former selves. Caring for a loved one who is sick or suffering from a long-term illness makes it hard for them to see past the next challenge. They know serious struggles at school or work and cannot see their way out. All of that brings thick darkness. And we have a chance to shine some light into that darkness. It doesn't have to be full strength light. Sometimes just enough to see the way to the next step brings a bit of hope.
We are in a sense called to be like John the Baptist. He was a man sent from God who was to bear witness to the light. John was not the light. His call was to point the way towards the light. That is something we can do. Sharing the One who called Himself the Light of the World with those in darkness means we bring hope, peace, grace, even love to another. We are the ones who are called to follow the Light of the World. The world is ruled by the one called the prince of darkness. That is the evil one's title. There is no hope in the darkness, in the things of the world. Instead we bring the light of the one who is light.
Paul writes in Ephesians 5:8” For you were once darkness but now you are the light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Those of us who have lived in the darkness know the value of light. We have felt the hope even a glimmer of light brings. And those that bring light in the darkness...they are gifts from God. Light will shine in the darkness. The question is...will we be the ones who shine it?
In His grip
Pastor Matt W