The room was pitch black. No lights were shining anywhere in the house. And for that matter, no lights were shining in the neighborhood. At all. It was almost apocalyptic. There was a power outage in the middle of the night. The only reason she knew of the outage was because she woke up a little after midnight. The house was so dark that she felt a little unnerved getting out of bed. Oh. She knew the layout of her house. She could walk it in the dark. But there she was. The darkness was so thick, she couldn’t see anything. It was one thing to walk in the dark of the house with a few nightlights conveniently placed. But to walk around in total darkness, even in a familiar setting, was unsettling. It was as though the place had been invaded by unknown entities. And even though she hadn’t heard any strange sounds. No doors opening. No glass shattering. No stairs creaking. She still felt uncomfortable in her own home.
Hours earlier, a small nightlight had shone as brightly as it could in the dark space. Now all lights were darkened. But that small shard of light had offered a calming effect in the darkness. What shadows were there offered affirmation that nothing sinister was lurking. Whereas, the total darkness caused uncertainty even though no evidence of threats arose. One must be careful in the dark. Stepping on forgotten shoes or an empty box can send someone into the depths of fear and panic.
But while still dark a few hours later, a low hum filled the space. Clocks blinked. Lights flickered. Power was restored. And in that moment, all felt right with the world.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:15
The dark is a frightening place to be. It’s unnerving. Unsettling. Uncomfortable. Even though our eyesight will adjust to see shapes and shadows in the dark, we still don’t see clearly. Confusion can set in, along with fear and anxiousness.
People living in darkness can’t see the path they’re on. Because of their blindness, they don’t know the pitfalls and troubles that are ahead. Darkness causes fear and paranoia. Anger. Manipulation. Panic. When we’re in darkness, we’re in a self-protective mode. We don’t know what lies ahead. The next turn in the road may do us in. So we keep our guard up. Can’t be too careful. Don’t trust others.
Imagine living in darkness all the time. Never rising to see the light. Oh. Many people do it every day. Even for a lifetime. And I’m not talking about physical darkness. I’m talking about spiritual darkness. Anyone who has not confessed their sins and committed their life to Jesus Christ is living in darkness. And their darkness will remain unless they repent.
Just a tiny ray of light is all it takes to expose the darkness. And someone living in the dark doesn’t want to get close to the light, because then they may be exposed. That might require change. Or conviction. And who wants that? Who wants to be confronted with their sins? Who wants the weight of guilt hanging on their shoulders? But that’s what the light does. Even a small pinprick of light is all it takes to expose the darkness. And shouldn’t we be relieved when there is light? Shouldn’t we breathe a sigh of relief when there is even a bit of light? Because then we can see the path ahead. We know where to turn and when to walk straight ahead.
The light is hard on the eyes when darkness is all that’s known. The adjustment to light may take time, but it’s worth the pain and discomfort. Because light brings freedom and hope.
And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:19-21
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7