"In the Light"
January 4, 2015
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
Years ago, one of the large circuses featured a Bengal tiger act.
One night, the trainer went into the cage for his performance. All went well, until the middle of the act. With tigers moving everywhere, the act had reached that place in time where people were sitting on the edge of their seats. That was when the power went off. For two minutes, that trainer was locked in darkness with a cage full of tigers.
Being cats, they could see him, but he couldn't see them. Even so, the trainer managed to survive. Afterwards, in an interview, when he was asked how he had managed to make it through unscathed, he responded: "I just kept cracking my whip and talking to them, until the lights came on. I gambled on them not realizing I couldn't see them."
Over the years I have seen a lot of people facing the same situation as did that trainer. No, they weren't working with great cats, but they were in the dark, and they were surrounded by any number of forces that could bring them down and destroy them. They pretended they were okay and kept yelling into the darkness, but they realized they couldn't maintain the charade forever.
What they needed was to have the lights on ... and someone to get them out of the cage.
This is where the Lord comes in. After the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Lord looked down the corridors of the centuries and saw humanity wandering off into the darkness of damnation. But the idea of those countless souls moving into the corridors of condemnation touched our Heavenly Father.
His divine mercy was moved and with gentle love,
* through prophecy, God said, don't go into the darkness -- "I will let you into heaven because off My Son, the everlasting Light";
* through John the Baptist, God spoke to you, me, and all the lost and lonely. He said, "I will give you an opportunity to repent and be saved. There is a room in heaven for those who take the hand of My Son, the Light";
* Jesus, Himself, extended the same divine invitation to doubters and deniers, skeptics, sinners and saints. He said, "Don't go into the darkness. Believe on Me, and you can walk in the Light."
So that we might be saved, God gave up His Son, and sent the true and only Light into this dark world. To a world filled with the darkness of greed, Jesus brought generosity. To a world filled with the darkness of hatred, Jesus brought heaven. To a world that faced the darkness of death, Jesus brought life. To a world destined for despair and damnation, Jesus was born so that all who believe might know hope in heaven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have sent Jesus to be the Light of the world. Today I pray for all those who prefer the darkness. May they realize the devil and death await in that darkness. Then, by the Holy Spirit's power, may they be moved into the Light of the world: Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries