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It's Time to Shine
by Rey Diaz
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019
One of the things we probably all take for granted is light.  Most of us have light available at the flick of a switch, touch of a finger, or clap of our hands.  Our homes, neighborhoods, streets, offices, schools all have light.  In fact it’s probably very difficult to go somewhere where it’s truly dark.  While living in Honduras, I was shocked by how dark it could get outside the city.  In our neighborhood on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, the power was constantly going out.  Whenever the power did go out, there were a few minutes before people lit their candles, turned on their flashlights, or started their bonfire, the entire place would be pitch black.  Complete darkness.  But eventually, the darkness would give way to the light.

We all know what it’s like to walk in the dark, in a literal sense.  As children we were scared of the dark.  We heard tales of monsters who would come out at dark.  We have all been in places where the light is compromised, distorted, or incomplete. In another sense, different but still very real, we’ve had to “walk in the dark.”  We have had to make decisions at crossroads of our life, wonder what was on the other side of the bend.  We have had to make choices with imperfect information, lacking all the knowledge not knowing what the future holds.

Maybe more personally, some of you have even walked through the “valley of the shadow of death”.  You’ve faced a tragedy, experienced abandonment, or the evil of this world.  In those moments, light seems so far away.  Darkness feels heavy and all encompassing.

According to the bible, the problem of humanity is darkness. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2 )

Interesting that the bible says “darkness covered” or saturated the earth.  Throughout the scriptures, darkness is a symbol of evil, representing things that shouldn’t be.  Darkness is injustice.  Darkness is extreme poverty.  Darkness is separation from God.

The problem is darkness coming into the world.  Sometimes it seeps into our souls.

A scientist would tell us darkness is the absence of light.  Plants grow and blossom in light yet die in darkness.

And into this Darkness God said, “Let there be light.”

God spoke light into the universe.  God himself was this light.  Don’t miss this: The stars and sun have not yet been created yet there is light.  Soon we would all reach this same truth: God is light.

But even after God said “let there be light”, we sinned and turned back into darkness.

In many ways that is the story of humanity – we turned from the light to darkness.  From God to sin.  From God to idols.  From God to whatever seemed right.  That led to a world that is still in darkness. We cannot underestimate how much damage, devastation, and destruction sin has caused on our world.  On us.  Theologians call it “total depravity.”  Sometimes this depravity is hidden from plain sight.  But in other places around the world, it is upfront and center.

Darkness is our problem but we have the only solution.  Only one person can rescue us from darkness in us and around us.

"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." John 1:4-5

Jesus is the light that overcomes the darkness.  No matter how dark it gets, no matter how dark it seems, no matter what type of darkness you are facing.  Jesus is the light of the world.

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This year, we're looking at what it means to shine brightest where the world is darkest. Each month, we'll share a story and offer some questions for you to ponder as you pray about how the Lord might want you to shine brightest in a broken world.

Jesus overcomes the darkness.  Every time.  Anywhere.  But as you will see in every story, Jesus chooses to work through imperfect people.  People like you and me.  Jesus fills us with light and ask us to “shine brightest where the world is darkest.”  That is our prayer for you as you embark on this journey.  That you will shine God’s light into the orphans and vulnerable children we serve around the world.

 


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