Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
The little boy with his Sunday school class was standing in front of the congregation.
They had finished singing their hymn and now each of them had to recite a Bible verse they had memorized. Understandably, placed in such a high-stress situation, one of the boys forgot his passage, the words of Jesus who said, "I am the Light of the world."
Thankfully, his mother, who had rehearsed with him, had come to church early and, in a most un-Lutheran-like action, sat toward the front of the church. Seeing her son's consternation, she got his attention by leaning forward. When he was looking at her, she silently mouthed the words: "I am the Light of the world."
She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw him nod his head and smile in understanding. "He's remembered," the mother said to herself.
And so he had ... sort of.
The boy drew himself up, took a deep breath, and loudly proclaimed, "My mother is the light of the world."
Now I would not -- not for a moment -- detract from the wonderful qualities of the boy's mom. How could I? She was raising her son to know his Savior. Still, even though she is a most blessed woman, she is not the light of the world.
That title can rightly go to only one Person: the Lord Jesus Christ. Seeing us caught in the darkness of our sins, knowing that a dark and everlasting grave awaited all of us, Jesus came to change things. He came to bring light, to be the light which would dispel our darkness.
And has He succeeded?
Ask the disciples who courageously faced terrible deaths rather than step out of the light. Ask the martyrs of every generation. Talk to the parent who has stood by the grave of a child or the widow as she says an earthly farewell to her life's partner.
During such times of deepest darkness, it is only the light given by the crucified and risen Lord Jesus that can bring hope and life and light.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You have done what we could not. Through Your life, suffering, death and resurrection, You have created light where darkness once held sway. Because of You my unknown tomorrows are brighter; because of You even the darkness of death has been dispelled. For Your many great graces I give thanks. In Your Name I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries