Light and Darkness

The season of winter is typically a time of dark and dreary weather. The days are short, and the nights are long. The wind is brisk, and the sun just doesn’t seem to put off much heat…  

I don’t know very many people who truly enjoy being in darkness. Most kids, at one time or another, are afraid of the dark. Similarly, most adults would prefer to have on a few lights. The light helps us know what is ahead of us. It helps us to navigate. 

A path is often illumined with light. Whether it be a pier, a parking lot, or a sidewalk leading to a door, we feel safer in the light. Light tends to give us a feeling of security. But we can choose to get off the safe path. We might feel like we don’t need light, and that we can create our own path. But rarely is this a good choice. You can probably recall instances when someone you know has gotten injured by trying to take a shortcut through the darkness rather than staying on the lighted path. 

This sort of imagery is used in the Bible to talk about our lives with God. We find it a few times in the Psalms. 

For You light my lamp;
The Lord my God illumines my darkness. Psalm 18:28

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1a

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

The Psalms express that God, and God’s Word, are light. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is the Word who has come to show us the Father (John 1:1; 14:9). It’s not surprising then that Jesus says, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). 

It follows from this that those who do not follow Jesus are walking in darkness, but those who do follow Him are walking in the light. The first letter of John continues this theme, applying it to Christians. 

but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:10-11

Light and darkness are incompatible. You either have light or you have darkness. It is an either/or. Let us remember that the true light is not found in the sun with the changing of the season, but rather in the Son with the changing of our lives. Jesus is the brightest light. Let’s walk together on that path.