November 03, 2013

People Loved Darkness Instead of Light

John 1:9-13; 3:19-21

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
—John 1:9


In the first few verses of his book, John directed our gaze into a mysterious state before creation in which the Word was with God, full of creative life. Then, in today’s verse, John focuses our attention on the eternal Word coming into our reality: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”

But then something puzzling happened. Although the eternal Word—the light we so desperately need—came into the world, people refused to be guided by it! The light of life had come, but people didn’t want to step into that light. Why?

What is there about the darkness that we like? Why do violence and death attract us, filling our TV and movie screens? What is there about the light that threatens us?

If I step into the light, I know that my actions, attitudes, values, and goals will all be out in the open, for God to see, to evaluate, to judge. And I feel threatened by that scrutiny.

But God sees them anyway. His light disinfects, allows life to grow, illumines the road, and makes things come alive with colors and shapes. Light and life are companions. We need God’s light in order to live!

God’s light also guides us so that we can share it with others. We can be lights in this sin-darkened world. We can “become children of God.”

Grant us the courage, Lord, to come into your light, to be cleansed and given real life. Help us today to walk in and by your light and to share it with others. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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