“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me will not remain in darkness.” (Jesus – John 11:25)
I am often perplexed and saddened by what I hear on the evening news – even though we hear it nearly every day.
It’s not just the murders or rapes or child abuse or drug busts… in our times, it is much more callous than that. Young women are kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery.
Identity thieves take great pleasure in emptying the bank accounts of decent, hardworking folks.
And during moments of civil unrest, looters take the opportunity to help themselves to whole stores – without a thought as to how their actions destroy the commerce of whole communities.
It is not just the actions of those who do wrong – it is the heart behind such cruel and throughtless actions that causes such deep concern for our world.
The world is a dark place – and it is become darker each and every day.
As Christians, we should not be surprised. Whenever a culture rejects the One true God, descent into deep darkness is inevitable. Human history is a lesson in human nature – without the Light of God, we find an abundance of ways to destroy ourselves. Here in America, we are on the fast track to removing every vestige of God in our schools, in our public places, even in our laws.
The saddest note of all is that we call it “being progressive” – even “enlightened.”
I am not ashamed to say that the only hope for humanity in any age, and in any culture, is Jesus. He came “into the world AS light” to rescue us all from our blindness and darkness.
He came and told us about the Light, but more importantly, He showed us the Light. He lived to love. He reached out to the hopeless and helpless, giving them help, hope, and dignity. He came into the world to show us what God was really like – because in our darkness, our view of Him gets so distorted.
And in the ultimate expression of love, Jesus volunteered to take the wrath of God for the punishment of our sins – He took our place so we could find our place (home!) with Him.
But He did more than just show us about God, or show us the depth of His love, He opened up the door of opportunity for each and every one of us to know Him personally – and to have our lives transformed in the knowing.
He came to save us. He came to change us. He came to bring us into the fullness of His Light, so WE could be the Light of the world… just as He was.
Jesus doesn’t just offer us forgiveness or a new beginning… He offers, to “whoever believes in Me,” the opportunity to be Light in the darkness.
Yes. The world is a dark and terrible place – and Jesus was right… the darkness will always despise the Light.
But in the darkest of times the Light shines brightest. It is most essential. It still exposes evil for what it is. And it still offers hope to those whose hope has faded.
Because of Jesus, the Light can still be a beacon of hope to a darkened world… through us!