17 December 2017

No Light without sight

One of the things I love most about this time of year is the long evenings. Recently I didn’t get home until 10.30pm and then proceeded to go for a lovely walk round our village, still in daylight. Sunny days brighten any situation, or so it seems. Even if we are feeling down or blue, if there is a clear sky up above suddenly life feels worth living again. It appears that light brings life, which is of course true botanically. Without the energy of the sun, life as we know it could not exist but the same is true of the human soul.

Writing in the Bible, John the apostle records these words of Jesus, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) How can a man be a light? Have you ever heard it said of someone that when they enter a room it lights up? This statement describes how the atmosphere changes in the presence of certain individuals, usually because of their loving, caring, gentle, gracious nature. It’s like switching on the light in a dark room. Light dispels the darkness and all becomes clear. Early in the same book, called the gospel of John, he says, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”(John 3:19-20)

The word ‘light’ is used a lot in the Bible and represents knowledge. So Jesus is saying that He is ‘knowledge’, because as the Son of God and creator of the universe, He knows all things. He knows truth from evil as we know light from dark. As God on earth, His life was truth. However for you and me it is not enough to have light unless we have sight to comprehend it. Likewise, knowledge about God is no good without spiritual eyes to behold Him. Knowing about God is very different from knowing Him. If asked on the street during the recent Jubilee celebration if we knew the Queen we might have been tempted to say yes. The reality however is we do not know the Queen anymore than she knows us. We know she exists, many of us have seen her, some of us may even have met her, but few can say they actually know her. Question is, do we know God?

There are many of us who have received spiritual light, through reading the Bible, going to Sunday school or church. We know the teachings of Jesus and the way to a restored relationship with God, yet we are still not Christians. We are not bad people. We do no one any harm, but we have never asked God to forgive us for the wrong things we have all done. Why? Because while we have light, we are without sight. We are spiritually blind. We are born blind and we need to have our spiritual eyes opened before anything can change, otherwise we are simply ‘religious’ like the teachers of Jesus’ day. They were trying to be good and do good, but were actually good for nothing, like blind guides in life.

How can we receive this sight? Not by any human means. The only one who can bring light to the human soul is the spirit of God. What stops us receiving this sight? Our own pride, selfishness and doubt. If anyone seeks after God he will find Him. If we cry out to Him in faith believing, He will hear and answer and make His truth known to us. Have you seen the light yet or are you still stumbling around in the darkness?