Last week I noticed that a light bulb in my kitchen was out. Then I noticed another one. And another and another. Four light bulbs. Four out of a possible 12 lights. (We don’t use the all at the same time). That is…hmm…well, not quite half but a lot! (O.K., for those who are curious and can’t do percentages it is 33%). It’s not so much that we had four lights out that amazed me but the fact that we had been living with three lights out and didn’t notice anything until the fourth light went out. And I don’t know how long the fourth light had been out…it could have been a month for all I know.
It is stunning to me how we can get use to less and less light. Perhaps if the light bulbs all went out at the same time it would have been very apparent and obvious to me. If they flashed out while I was in the kitchen reading my morning paper I would have noticed it right away. But the fact that they went out slowly, one at a time, over a period of time, made recognizing it that much more difficult for me. Either I don’t spend much time looking up at the ceiling or I gradually get use to being in a darker and darker room. But we do adjust to darkness. If I was put in a completely dark room over a couple of minutes my eyes would adjust and although I couldn’t see clearly I could begin to adjust in the dark as long as there was the slightest bit of light seeping in somewhere.
There is no entity of darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Light is an energy source that emits illumination. But darkness does not exist, it only is the result of lessening of the properties of light. If you want more darkness you can’t turn anything on to generate more darkness. You need to turn off the lights to get more darkness. By the same token if you want to lessen the darkness you simply need to increase the light.
The Apostle John wrote: 1 The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, 2 in readiness for God from day one. 3 Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without him. 4 What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by.5 The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. (John 1:1-5; The Message); and Jesus said : “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12; NIV).
It is easy to let darkness slip into our lives. We simply let the light of Christ dim, a little at a time. We don’t notice it and it doesn’t happen all at once. But slowly, almost imperceptibly, the light begins to fade. And before we know it we are in spiritual darkness. The world is not darkness but instead it exists in darkness because it rejects the light of Christ. When Jesus came into the world He brought light and He illuminates all who will receive His light. Perhaps we need to spend this season of Advent increasing the light of Christ instead of trying to get rid of the darkness. We are focusing on the wrong things if we are focusing on how dark the darkness is. Let Jesus be the Light of our worlds and and we will be living in light and overcoming the darkness.
What do you think?
How does this make you feel?