"Turn Out The Light"
July 24, 2011
Everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God. John 3:20-21
People who do evil things love the dark and hate the light.
Indeed, you have to look pretty hard to find an example that says otherwise. I know. I've tried.
The best instance I could find comes from the Bahamas and that was a few hundred years ago. When the governor of that land was returning to England, he promised he would present any request the colonists wanted to make before the king. If I gave you a hundred years, you would never guess the petition they wanted him to make.
Their plea was this: "Ask the government to tear down the lighthouses. Lighthouses are ruining the colony." Surprised? I was too. And why would anyone want to get rid of the lighthouses? That answer is an easy one: The petition came from men who made their living salvaging ships that foundered on the coast. It didn't matter to them that people would die in such disasters; it didn't matter that men would be financially ruined.
These men thought only of themselves, and they hated the light.
Although I don't know of any such petition being made before our government today, I do know that those who do evil still love to work in the darkness. The bank robber wears his mask; the mugger works in the shadows; the white collar criminal hides behind shady bookwork.
In contrast, we Christians should follow the Savior's example of honesty and openness. You remember how when Jesus was on trial before the Sanhedrin, He said, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret" (see John 18:20).
Today we live in a dark age of doubt and disbelief. Many people assume the church is founded on deception and falsehood. Others have been scandalized by sins of the clergy and a fair percentage of people have concluded all religions are the same, and it doesn't make any difference what you believe, as long as you believe something sincerely. They want the lighthouse of Christianity to be torn down.
Publicly and privately, the Lord has given us the opportunity to let these people know that Jesus is the Light -- the one and the only Light and He is here to stay. Gently, clearly, concisely we can reflect the truth of the salvation story into the dark corners of their hearts. We can let the story of truth unfog their point of view; we can change things.
Wait. That's not right. We can't do anything -- not on our own. When it comes to letting the lighthouse blaze out a warning, the Holy Spirit is the beginning, middle and end of the process. On the other hand, He can use our lives to tell the world, "We walk in the light."
Let that be our commitment, as well as our prayer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, may my words and actions always show to others that I live in the light of Jesus. If it be possible, may the Holy Spirit use us to touch those who are still in darkness. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries