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
Not so long ago, a cousin of mine was caught in an elevator during a power outage.
He told me about the sickening jolt when things stopped and they were thrown into pitch- blackness. Then the seven people started shouting for buttons to be pushed, calling for the emergency phone, and jostling to make sure they didn't touch anyone or get touched.
Then, one of the passengers remembered the tiny flashlight he carried on his keychain.
With the flick of a switch, a small amber light filled the elevator car. Just as a little child relaxes when a nightlight is turned on in his bedroom, so too, these adults, helped by the most insignificant of lights, began to calm down. For 45 minutes they laughed at their fate, shared stories and a little history about themselves. That is the power of light in the physical world.
No, most people don't like to be in the dark -- most people -- but not all.
In 1789, when the Bastille, the castle-like prison in Paris, was about to be destroyed, a long-term inmate was brought out. He had lived in his gloomy cell for a good many years. Sadly, instead of welcoming his liberty, the man begged to be taken back into his hole. Unaccustomed to the sunlight, he had only one desire: to die in the murky dungeon which had held him captive for so long.
No, not everybody wants to be in the light.
Sadly, in our time, too many, like that man in the Bastille, have decided it's easier to live their lives in the darkness. Too many are living as if Jesus, the Light, had never come. Too many have had their spiritual eyes grow so accustomed to the darkness they think the black all around them is the way things are supposed to be.
Murderers, molesters and malefactors are given minimal punishment because courts believe their crimes are the product of a sad environment and not a sinful heart. Schools teach that everybody is basically nice and noble, never mean, malicious or malevolent. Circumstance and situation, not sin and Satan, are the cause of all the calamities and catastrophes that occupy every newspaper headline that are reported on every radio and television news program.
A little boy once heard his Sunday school teacher say, "Jesus is the Light of the world."
The boy took the teacher's remark quite literally. After class he said to her, "If Jesus really is the Light of the world, I wish He'd come hang out in my alley. It's awful dark where I live."
Do you, dear listeners, wish that Jesus would come and hang out in your alley, your street, your home? Do you wish Jesus would illuminate the dark recesses of your country, your county, your community, your city? Are you tired of having darkness in your living room and in your life?
Then rejoice! Jesus wants to be in all those places too. By the Holy Spirit's power, He can be in all those places, and in one place more. He can be God's Light in your heart, bringing forgiveness, salvation, everlasting life, and peace.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant I may do all I can to bring people from darkness into the light of the Lord and Savior. At the same time, grant that I may never wander back into the darkness. In the Savior's Name I ask it. 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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