June 23, 2017

Fading Light

John 12:27-36

Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before the darkness overtakes you.”

—  John 12:35

In early fall the dwindling harvest becomes noticeable. The air cools, and the leaves on plants, trees, and bushes begin to brown. The days grow ­shorter, and darkness comes earlier. It feels like a race against time to bring in the full harvest of fruits and vegetables.

This experience of fading light brings to mind Jesus’ urging his disciples to walk while they still have the light—that is, Jesus himself. When Jesus spoke these words, his upcoming death on the cross was just around the corner. And that event became the most dramatic attempt to snuff out the light. But it was not the first attempt, and it wouldn’t be the last.

In every age of human history, people who follow Jesus need to hear these urgent words. Jesus, the light of the world, has overcome the darkness by his payment for our sin and his victory over death. But sin, the wickedness of the world, and the devil persistently continue in their efforts to snuff out the light. Apathy and complacency conspire within and around us to diminish the light. When we lose our sense of urgency, the harvest dwindles and the darkness moves in.

If you are noticing the dwindling light, what are you doing about it? Are you making the most of every opportunity to be the light of Christ and bring in the harvest?

Jesus, inspire me to follow you faithfully. Shine in me and through my words and actions so that the harvest of lives will increase. Amen.

About the author — Don Byker

Don Byker has been a pastor since 1984 in various churches and institutional settings. Don and his wife, Donna, are the parents of four adult children, two of whom are married. Donna and Don are also the glad grandparents of three granddaughters. Currently Don is serving in a rural church in Michigan full of gardeners.

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