A Light Shining in the Darkness
One of the things I remember about summer camp as a kid was the blanket of sheer darkness that enveloped our camp at night. It was pitch black, devoid of almost any light; you could literally not see your hand in front of your face. But another thing I remember is the power of light to over power that darkness. Our cabin at the camp had no electricity, the only means to see were either by flashlight or by candlelight. In the evenings our cabin leader would light a single candle and set it on a table in the center of the cabin. It seemed to provide little light at first but as time went by and our eyes adjusted to the darkness, the faint candlelight would illuminate the entire room where you could see not only that aforementioned hand in front of your face but every other face in the cabin. That is the power of light to dispel the darkness.
Our world has been in disarray for weeks now over the COVID 19 epidemic that has enveloped it in a metaphorical darkness. Many of us are in isolation, alone and scared of what will come next. Fear has taken hold and the accompanying darkness has plunged us into misery. Our world today is dark as a result of a disease, but it mirrors the spiritual darkness in which we also live being characterized by fear, anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness. But, just as there is hope that this disease will one day recede and the light of normalcy will return, there is also hope for light to penetrate the spiritual darkness in which many of us live.
As you are reading this article, Christians the world over are preparing for the Easter holiday when the resurrection of Jesus Christ is remembered and celebrated. The first Easter was a period not unlike our own in which the world was gripped by a spiritual darkness that seemingly had no end in sight. Men wandered around blindly, living in fear, and indulging their various passions. But John, writing in the Gospel that bears his name, tells us that like a bolt of lightning, a radiant Light entered this world of darkness, piercing it, and overcoming it. John goes on to identify this Light as Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, who came into the world bringing life, and the right to be called children of God to those who believed on his name.
The Light was seemingly snuffed out by those who opposed him. The Bible tells us that lawless men nailed Jesus to a cross because they rejected the Light and the message of salvation that he came to declare to the world, preferring instead the darkness in which they lived. But the Bible also tells us that God had planned for all of this in advance and that death could not hold the Savior that God had sent into the world on our behalf, nor could it snuff out the Light that was the life of men. And on that first Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the grave bringing hope and light to a destitute and darkened world.
The Light has come into the world and those who follow him will never live in darkness again. Like that small candle that pierced the darkness of our cabin so many summers ago, the light of Jesus has now pierced the darkness of our world, illuminating for us the path to life, making what was once hidden clearly visible. Now that the Light has entered, we must choose to walk in it, following the path that leads to life and rejecting the darkness in which we now live. It is my prayer for you friend, that if you have not done so already, choose the Light that leads to life. Call upon the name of Jesus in faith, repent of your sin, and celebrate your first Easter with us as a child of God.