For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:8-11
The county of Muscatine in Iowa is not the kind of place that normally grabs national headlines.
Even so, that is exactly what has happened. And if I hear you asking, "What is this problem which has managed to cause such consternation in Muscatine?" let your curiosity be at rest. I will tell you. It seems as if Muscatine County is being bothered by a man, or men, in black.
What has happened is this: people have reported driving down the road and coming across a man, or men, dressed in black trench coats. Sometimes these fellows stay on the shoulder of the road. At other times, as the car passes, they actually step onto the highway. Local Facebook pages have other Muscatine residents saying they have seen these "men in black" in the backyards of homeowners.
Not surprisingly, even though comedians are making light of all the news about the men in black, the folks down at the local law enforcement centers are taking the information very seriously. Police will admit that even though these men in black haven't committed any provable crimes, they are creating a dangerous scenario.
* stepping into the road at night when you are wearing black clothing is almost asking to have someone run you over;
* wearing black at night when you are wandering, uninvited through someone's backyard is almost like pasting a target to your back.
With all this going on, I can understand why the folks of Muscatine are spooked by the men in black. On the other hand, I can't understand why so much of humanity chooses to be unspooked by "the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil" (Ephesians 6:12b).
The headlines -- and our lives -- show that the forces of sin, Satan and evil in this world are incredibly powerful. The damage they do to bodies and souls is tragic in the extreme. Yes, they are powerful, but they are not invincible.
If you wish to see invincibility, you must look to Jesus. Through His life, He conquered the temptations of Satan and the sinful suggestions of the world. Through His death and resurrection, He showed that death and grave had been defeated.
Now, in the lives of those who have been called to faith, Jesus -- the Light of the world -- shows His ongoing strength by assuring us of forgiveness, salvation and peace. In Him we know the darkness has been dispelled.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may acknowledge the power of Your love as it was shown through Jesus' life and suffering, death and resurrection. Send my fears away and grant that I may find joy as I walk in the light of the Christ. In His Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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