Episode #23 — Light That Guides Us: Living with Jesus, living in the light, means we start to see the things that God hates in this world. Injustice to people who are vulnerable and needy might be at the top of the list of things God hates. But light doesn’t just expose. It also guides us and shows us how to reflect the light that brings healing and change in the world.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:9-13 (NIV)
Light exposes the darkness in our own hearts. Light also exposes the darkness that is around us. Living with Jesus means we start to see the things that God hates in this world. Injustice to people who are vulnerable and needy might be at the top of the list of things God hates. So when we start to turn towards the light, we will start to see the things God hates, the things that break God’s heart. And those things will break our hearts too.
Response to Light
Beyond heartbreak, God will ask us to respond. And again, sometimes our response will make all the difference in the world. Christian history has plenty of black marks, but it also has the beautiful achievements of abolishing slavery in Great Britain and in this nation, of feeding the hungry and healing the wounded, of caring for those in prison, of bringing hope and light to the world.
Here’s the thing—the whole point of exposing the things that were hidden—the things that were hidden inside our own darkness, the things that are hidden from sight even though they are on plain view in the world around us—the point is to guide us out of the darkness and into the light.
Light That Guides Us
Yes, light exposes things we might rather not see. But it also shows us where to go. Light helps us to walk with sure feet. Light offers comfort, and safety, and peace. Light offers hope and healing and good news.
The joy that comes to us at Christmas is the joy of God entering into the messy darkness of a broken world.
The peace that comes to us at Christmas is the peace of Jesus entering into conflict and discord and pain.
The hope that comes to us at Christmas is not ignorance of the trouble in the world but hope in the face of that trouble.
Jesus is the Light
This passage from John about Jesus’ birth reminds us that we are not the light. We are the ones who look for the light. We are the ones who follow the light. We are the ones who reflect the light of Jesus. We don’t generate that light ourselves. Just as Jesus is the one who can clean up our messes (or not), so too Jesus is the one who is responsible for healing and changing the world. Jesus is the light in the darkness, born on Christmas morn. We are the ones who have been invited to walk in that light.
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