Saturday, February 2, 2019

Darkness and Light

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

When someone walks into a dark room and turns on the light, where does the darkness go? Does it flee into the hallway? Does it hide under the desk? We could say darkness flees in the presence of light, but darkness really doesn’t go anywhere. Darkness is the absence of light. In the same way, light doesn’t really do anything to drive out darkness. Light does not say ‘I shall strive to eliminate this darkness’ or ‘flee thou evil darkness from the purity of my presence’, or anything. In the presence of light darkness simply ceases to exist. 

Our Gospel passage comes immediately after the Beatitudes-where Jesus describes the heart attitudes of Kingdom people-but before the principles of Kingdom living the resulting interior transformation will produce. I believe His message here is clear: ‘Don’t just keep this stuff to yourself. Go, overcome darkness by being light.’ Jesus intended to start His revolution one ‘light’ person at a time. Later Paul will say ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’. 

We may not all be called to be pastors or preachers or monks or teachers. However, if we claim the name ‘Christian’ we are called to actually follow Jesus. Simply learning about Him-accumulating Biblical facts-is not enough. We are called to interior transformation by actually spending time in Jesus’ presence. Jesus says let your light shine, the light you receive from me. Think of Moses, who had to veil his face after hanging out with God. Jesus is telling us it’s time to remove the veil. 

So go. Be the light. It’s what we were created for. It’s what our country, what our world, desperately needs.