Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
In Ephesians 5, Paul says, “Live as children of the light. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” (Eph 5:8-11).
The James Webb Space Telescope, which started looking into deep space last year, has a heat and light reflecting structure the size of a tennis court. This prevents sunlight and heat from interfering with its view of the universe.
Paul suggests the opposite for Christians. He recommends facing into the light of Jesus and living as children of the light. “Have nothing to do with deeds of darkness” he says. Do not focus on the deep space of depravity and sin. Orient yourself toward God!”
John the gospel writer said of Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of humankind. The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it” (John 1:4-5). People who met Jesus didn’t understand him. Something like me trying to understand Einstein’s theory of relativity. I just don’t have the smarts to process it. The light of science shines brightly, but somehow it doesn’t illuminate my darkness.
In one of my favorite verses, Paul says this about God’s work of creation: “God who said, Let light shine out of darkness made his light shine in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). God had to do a new work of creation to put the light of Christ in my heart.
The New Testament has three statements that tell us who God is. It says, “God is spirit”, “God is love”, and “God is light”. Because of this, those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth. Those who follow God must love as he loved. And those who serve God must walk in his light. In my better moments, I heed those expectations.
But the call is not so pressing when I wake up, lazy and warm in bed, reluctant to face the day. Shall I sleep in? Skip morning exercises? Bypass morning prayers? Sip a leisurely cup of coffee while doomscolling the internet?
Paul delivers a stinging rebuke: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Eph 5:14). An odd instruction—”rise from the dead!” Looks like I have a choice: wake up, rise from my dark deadness, and move into the light of Christ. I do wake up eventually, but I’m pretty sure the effort I exert rates low on the scale of “Rise from the dead.”
O father, when you said, “Let there be light”, you swept away the darkness. Not long ago you said to my heart, “Let there be light”, and Christ shone on me. But ever since I vascillate between my old darkness and Christ’s light.
Teach me to reject the deeds of darkness. Teach me to come to the light. Let this be my experience: that darkness is passing and the true light is already shining (1 Jn 2:8).
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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