Posted: 7/6/18 at 9:40am. Column by Ed Jordan.
Anyone who is a parent has, or will, experience the anxiety of a child not arriving home at the agreed-upon time.
When he or she is late, our thoughts begin to go wild with every negative possible reason. As parents we feel extreme anxiety, because we know that the world is a dangerous place and that one or two bad decisions can drastically change a person’s life.
Many parents tell their young person, as they leave for the evening out, “We will keep the light on for you.”
The light is a symbol of home, love, hope, and safety.
It is a way to convey the parent’s love and trust, as the young person is to turn the light off after they arrive and close up the house for the night.
It is a “welcome home” without the parent hovering in the front room, waiting for the child’s safe arrival. A well-known hotel chain has even adopted the saying as their advertising slogan.
In the Bible, the word “light” is often a metaphor for the tangible manifestation of the presence of God. In Genesis, light was created in the first segment of creation, because light made possible the major food chain on the planet. Light corresponded with the clarity and safety of the day, while darkness often correlated with unseen dangers in the night.
In the New Testament, the coming of Jesus is associated with light in the moral and truth sense. In John 1:4-5 (NLT) we read: “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
In John 8:12 (NLT) Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Jesus came to live among people who were out in the dark and in danger. The world was full of unknowns and short lifespans. No matter what people did, debauchery and death reigned. The Herod families’ immorality and deceptive violence portrayed the darkness of the times, as did the immorality and decay of the upper class in Rome.
Even today, where God is rejected in life and society, destructiveness increases. We are anxious for good reason over our children’s safety when they are out at night; the world is full of danger, and evil flourishes even more in the dark.
Where light is present, darkness loses. Darkness never overcomes light, for by definition darkness is the absence of light. So when you take a candle into a dark room, the dark does not douse the light. The light negates the darkness.
But when people choose to remove God’s presence from any area, that place becomes darker, just as removing the light from the room leaves the room in darkness.
But for those who have come to know Jesus, the Light of the world, we are able to see more clearly the decisions we should make—and the reasons behind them. Jesus tells us the truth about life, God, truth, and wisdom. God’s Holy Spirit living within the believer leads us into truth and guides us through dangerous terrain.
God living within the Christian can shine the light of truth into any situation we are facing. Jesus told his followers that we are now the light of the world, because God lives within believers.
We are to be a city of light, shining into the darkness of the world, beckoning those lost out in the darkness to see the Light, come to the Light, and come in out of the darkness and its destructive dangers. The church is to be the manifestation of God’s presence, life, and hope in a world of chaos.
If we believers do not shine the light and truth of Jesus to those in darkness, who will?
Jesus wants his churches to be entrances to the Kingdom of light. He leaves the light on so that those who are living in darkness will recognize that home and life in the presence of God is shining out, calling them to come to the Light and to receive all the good that God has to offer them. So come home to Jesus; he is leaving the light on for you!