Light and Darkness

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:5 (RSV)

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day.  Darkness and light are alike to You.”  Psalm 139:11-12

Sometimes I’ve overwhelmed by the darkness, less so literally than spiritually.  Sometimes I can barely read the little one-liner news headlines that greet me when I start my computer.  Even news from well-meaning, Christian sources calling us to pray, can often create more discouragement or despair in me, than hope and prayer.  Everything in me longs to either hide from or stop the tide of corruption, immorality, death, and other dark news. 

The Lord calls me, us, to return the Light, the truth, God’s Word–while it is yet Today. 

“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” II Cor.4:6

“..pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star arises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19

Creation speaks of the glory of the light.  In the dark, colour is indistinguishable, suspicion is aroused, and fear is pronounced.  The minute the sun begins to rise, colour and clarity are revealed.  Lilias Trotter described the transformation of the landscape as she watched an alpine sunrise overtake the night:

“One hears of the light chasing the darkness–but I never saw it done before.  It was literally hunted and driven down due west by the sunrise, into this great bay of sky between the Matterhorn and the Obere Gabelhorn.  When I went to keep watch in the front of the house at quarter to five, the sky was still soft lavender blue.  Then came from the zenith a flush of violet, sweeping the blue down to the snow of the skyline–and that was chased down by mauve, and the mauve by dim rose colour, and the rose by apricot.  Then the peak of the Matterhorn flamed up in brilliant rose and madder–and the day has come!”

C.H Spurgeon shares a similar triumph of light:

“When the Holy Spirit give us us spiritual light and opens our eyes to behold “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” then we also behold sin in its true colours and ourselves in our real position.  We see the Most Holy God as He reveals Himself, the plan of mercy as He offers it, and the world to come as the Word describes it.

Spiritual light has many beams and prismatic colour, but whether they are knowledge, joy, holiness or life, they are divinely good.  If the (physical) light received is thus good, what must the essential Light be, and how glorious must the place where He reveals Himself be! 

O Lord, since light is so good, give us more of it, and more of Yourself, the true Light…..O Lord Jesus, be our Light throughout the whole of this day, for Your light is the light of men.”

Just as the sunrise gloriously overtakes the darkness of the night, let’s allow the Son of God to fill our hearts each morning with His new mercies, His beauty, His grace.  Until we come to the land where “there shall be no night” (Rev 21:25), we need to open wide the shutters of our minds to the brilliant beams of His Word and Holy Spirit, Who will flood us with unfailing encouragement, promise, and hope! 

“Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy!”  Psalm 65:8

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