We all know that light is important, and it is rare for us in America to not be surrounded with light from some source. In our home it seems that we have some form of small indicator/LED light in every room. We have gotten used to it and have learned to ignore them for the most part. When we moved to a rural community in California a few years ago one of the first things that we discovered was that there were no streetlights in the area where we lived. With having moved from the city with lots of lights that was very noticeable to us. The funny thing is that after a while we never really thought about it being dark; we just accepted it and went on with our lives.
This past week I had a procedure on my back in my orthopedic surgeon’s office where they have a small operating suite. It was storming outside with lightning and thunder at the time. They wanted me awake during the procedure so they could see how I reacted, so I just had a local anesthetic as well as something to keep me calm, (meaning groggy). The procedure went well until right at the end. They had stitched me up and were almost ready to apply the bandages and the lights went out. Being groggy it took me a minute to understand what had happened, but apparently there was no backup generator, so four of the five people in the room immediately grabbed their cell phones and turned on the lights and they were able to finish up.
The thought that something like that would happen never occurred to me, (and apparently not to them either). We take light for granted far too often, don’t we? I believe that’s why Jesus is described as light in the scripture. Notice a few examples: John 1:4-5, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.” The word, “apprehended” from the original language could mean: “to grasp, to perceive or to understand.” In other words, the world often chooses to live in darkness because they really don’t understand what God did through Jesus. They have become so used to living in the darkness that they don’t miss the light.
In John 1:7-8, John writes about himself: “This one came as a witness, to bear witness concerning the Light, so that all might believe through him, He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light.”
OK, here is the point I am trying to make. We live in a world where many people walk around in a stupor, not even aware that there is no light in their life, (spiritual light that is). They have become used to living in a dark, sin filled world and don’t even understand that there is a different world filled with light available. A very loose modern paraphrase adds these thoughts about Jesus: “The Life and Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was created through him, and yet the people didn’t even notice.” Our challenge is to be John to the world, to bear witness concerning the light. That’s our job, that’s our purpose… to shine the light.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.