You Are Light

Based on:  Ephesians 5:-14

You probably feel safer in the light.  If you go to the cities and do some shopping and then come back to your car after the sun has gone down you probably prefer that the parking lot be well lit.  First of all it is easier to see where you’re going when there is light, but you also know that those who want to do evil will often try to hide their actions in the darkness.

In our lesson from Ephesians Chapter 5 God says, "you were once darkness."  He doesn’t say that you were in the dark, but that you were the dark.  The things you did and said and thought were things you wanted covered by the darkness.  You didn’t want them revealed.  There was no light in you to show you the way to heaven or to help anyone else.  You pulled others into your darkness because that was all you knew.

As darkness you fought against the light because the light is the enemy of darkness.  When you are used to the darkness, the light hurts.  When you go out into the light for the first time you can’t stand to look at it.  You hate the light.

I’m sure all of you realize I’m talking about spiritual darkness and spiritual light.  And those who are in spiritual darkness are the unbelievers of this world and it was also us before God created faith in Christ in our hearts.  Maybe some of you are thinking that I’ve painted a very bleak picture of the unbeliever, maybe I’m being unfair.  But take a look at yourself.  Even for the Christian, there is still part of us that is darkness.

Is there something about you that you hide from the others? Is there some shameful thing that you did that you don’t want others to know about? Is there a sin troubling you? Isn’t it nice to have darkness that hides and conceals those things that you would rather forget about?

Now imagine a light so bright that it shines right through you.  It reveals everything.  All of your sins, everything you might try to hide from others, it is known by God.  Paul tells Timothy that it is God, "who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen it or can see." You cannot stand in the light of God’s presence, because it reveals everything.  God sees everything about you.

God’s light exposes our sin, but it also reveals to us of our Savior.  Jesus Christ, the light of the world, has conquered darkness.  God has created in us a new being.  God has made us his children.  That means we are children of the light and as children of the light we take after our father and his light shines in us.  Just as Scripture says, "for God, who said, ‘let light shine on of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory God in the grace of Christ."

Now that God has made us light, he has made us a new and holy creature.  When God’s holy light illuminates us, God sees perfection.  There is no sin and no shame.

Now that God has made us light, he has made this light for a purpose.  God has made us light so that we can shine in this dark world.  The world needs our light or it will remain dark.  Remember Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven." Before God made you light, you were darkness and you were part of the problem.  Now you are light and you are part of God’s plan to bring light to this dying world.  

This purpose for which God leaves us in this world does mean that we will struggle with others and also with ourselves.  As you live as children of the light, "in all goodness, righteousness, and truth", you will find out that people will notice that you are different.  They will not always like your light.  When others encourage you to join in something that you know is wrong and you say no or you avoid them, then you are a light that exposes their deeds as sinful.  That will make other people feel uncomfortable.  Their conscience will bother them.  As a result they might call you names or tease you or have nothing more to do with you.  When these things happen, then you can know you are truly reflecting God’s light in a dark world.

God tells us to "have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." This is not a pleasant thing to do.  We’re told it is even "shameful" to talk about the things done in darkness, but as light God wants us to point them out.  That means we will call certain things sin, such as abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality, even though many people in the world see nothing wrong with them.

There is a reason for exposing these things.  There is a reason for shining a light in the darkness and revealing the sin that exists, which is committed in the darkness.  We also want to share the light of the Gospel with those still in the darkness.  With our light we also want to show them their Savior who takes away their sin and makes them light also.

It is the light of Christ who can change darkness into light and raise the spiritually dead to life, as Paul writes, "wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." As we let our light shine to expose sin in the dark world and to reveal Christ as the Savior from sin, then God uses us to spread his light.

St. Francis of Assisi said, "all the darkness and the world cannot extinguish the light of one candle." God has created you to be light.  As your light shines others will see their sin and look to their Savior.  Christ will use your light to light other candles in the darkness.  

Amen.

 

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