John 1:1-5 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
If in this dark world we're going to anchor our hope in something, it should be in the expectation of what God can do for us and through us. If we wait for a slow and imperceptible evolutionary process to make us wiser and better, that moment will never come. We need something new, something that will act with revolutionary speed, something that can dispel the terrible darkness of modern barbarism and elevate us to new heights. The only power that can do this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That Gospel, that Good News, can give life amid death. It can change the selfishness, greed, and hatred of man into compassion, mercy, and love. And it can do this instantly. It can make a cruel Saul into a Saint Paul. It can turn a man from his sins and ignite in him a love for his neighbors.
The Gospel has been doing this repeatedly through the centuries. The people over whom the light of the Good News has shone have produced a decisive effect on the darkness that surrounded them. When a member of a non-believing family accepts the Gospel and the principles of Christ, there is the possibility that the whole family will be transformed by the light of God's love. When a young woman is an example of purity, even though this sometimes means becoming a victim of mockery, she's exerting a good influence on her peers. This is why Christ called believers the "salt of the earth" (see Matthew 5:13-16). A single Christian missionary in a hostile community can be used by God as an exemplary model to change the life of an entire community.
Through 2,000 years, Christianity has been the miracle of the minority. Silently and without ostentation, it has won one victory after another. There is no doubt that it will continue marching, for it presents freely to every human being the sublime forgiveness available only through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness cancels past debts and gives man the power to start again—to begin again with new hope and purpose. The same Christ who declared, "Behold I am making all things new" (Revelation 21:5b), is the One who gives us His promise and eternal hope. And in the power of Him to whom has been given all authority in heaven and earth, we can know our ultimate inheritance is secure—won through the blood He shed on the cross.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the light of Your Son Jesus who dispels the darkness and gives us hope. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From a message excerpt from Rev. Dr. Andrew Melendez, former Spanish Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Have you ever experienced total darkness, without a bit of light? Where were you?
2. How has Jesus overcome darkness in your life?
3. How can we live our lives as lights in the world?
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