In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. (John 1:4 NCV)
This weeks tragedies in our nation should be cause for all of us to pause and reflect on the value of life, and what gives real life. Even as I write this one of the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings was killed in a gun battle with police this morning, and they are closing in on his brother.
Assuming that they are responsible for this terrible and senseless act, I have no idea at this point what these two brothers (and anybody else that may have been involved) motive would have been, but this I do know, the ultimate cause of their behavior is the darkness that resides in their hearts as a result of a lack of a relationship with the living God.
The passage of scripture above reminds us that real life is only found in Jesus Christ. And the life that He brings also brings with it light into an otherwise dark world. The cold hard fact is, all of us are sinners, and left to ourselves we will always choose a path of sin and darkness, and it is only the light of Christ in our hearts that can drive out the darkness.
The same is true for a culture. Historically, nations and cultures that have embraced the life and light of Christ have had a greater sense of morality and goodwill toward our fellow man, and fewer incidents of hate and evil, than nations and cultures that have been resistant or hostile to the light of the world. Those cultures where the light of Christ has shown the brightest have had, by the grace of God, fewer days of darkness to endure.
No culture is immune from the attacks of evil that come from the darkness of our spiritual enemy, the devil. But the more Christ is embraced in a culture, the more the light spreads and shines. And we all know what light does to darkness!
As followers of Jesus, I believe that gives us at least a couple of things to consider. First, as our own culture continues to drift further away from its Christian moorings, the greater the intensity and frequency of evil acts that will be evidenced in our culture. The Columbines, and Sandy Hooks, and Boston bombings are simply a result of a culture that seems to be deciding that it doesn’t need God.
This is not intended to be a political statement in anyway, but quite frankly, the answer isn’t fewer guns, it’s more Jesus. And that’s my second point to consider, what are we doing to spread the light of the world to the world?
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’ (John 8:12)
Light drives out darkness. When Jesus Christ comes into a person’s life He begins to bring a change to our hearts and lives. He gives us a love for our fellowman, and drives out the darkness of hate, jealousy, prejudice and whatever else motivates men and women to do evil to others.
Those two young men in Boston will pay the price for their acts of evil, in this world and in eternity. But I wonder did anyone ever try to share the love of Christ with them as they were growing up? Did any neighbor, who claims to be a follower of Jesus, ever invite them to church? Did a classmate that attends a student ministry ever invite them to attend?
After announcing that He was the light of the world, Jesus then turns around and makes an astonishing statement:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Jesus says to us that if the light of Christ has shone into our hearts and driven out the darkness of sin, our lives should then bring light to others so that they can see and learn that the light of Christ can drive the darkness from their lives as well, and bring true life.
Let your light shine followers of Jesus Christ. Let it shine into the darkness of men and women’s souls until the light of Christ becomes so blinding in this world that darkness has no where to hide.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.