The world we live in continues to become darker and darker each day. Ever since June 22nd, the nights become shorter as we continue to lose daylight until next spring.
And we, as a society, seem to be OK with it as long as it doesn't infringe upon our activities and we are able to turn on some lights in order that we can see what we are doing.
I sit in my favorite coffee shop trying to write this as conversation at the table next to me wafts over into my ears. Sitting at the table are five people who are each in their late sixties or early seventies.
As best as I can hear, the conversation stems from two main characters who talk of seminary and church policy and discuss as those who are in authority have squashed them by saying "no" to their very liberal theology. I get the distinct impression that one of them has had their credentials removed for their theology.
The conversation is loud and aggressive and filled with passion from hurt by individuals who have areas of hypocrisy in their own lives.
Quickly others around the table quip that times have changed and the church needs to speed up with the times as they try to console the two people with (in my opinion) some very bad arguments that are mostly based upon subjective feelings; not actually study and research.
Unfortunately these people have been hurt by those above them who have tried to shove theology down their throats as they ignore their very real hurts. They all appear to want to follow the Lord as they try to justify their interpretation of what is truth. They all appear to be sweet people made in the image and likeness of the One who made them.
But, I must add, even though we live in a country in which we vote as we attempt to legislate morality, that has no bearing on what the Lord says is truth.
The world we live in continues to become darker and darker each day. Just when we hear about some crime that seems inconceivable, another even more heinous crime is reported. Just when we think that we will eventually not allow activities, we continue to legislate as we move (once again) the boundaries of what we deem as acceptable in our society.
We, as a society, seem to be OK with it as long as others don't infringe upon "our rights" or preferences or activities and others can't see what we are doing. Or as long as we can create some sort of artificial light to create the illusion that the darkness is actually light.
Darkness seems to continue to crowd out the light as we have become a society in which those who call darkness wrong are seen as the odd and intolerant ones. Society has become a place where the only intolerance that isn't accepted is when someone is intolerant regarding your beliefs.
Society calls evil good, and good evil; puts darkness for light, and light for darkness; puts bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
And yet, the good news is that even in the darkness, the Lord reigns!
"Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You." (Psalm 139:12)
Even in the darkness His mercy and grace are calling out for all of us to turn back to what He calls good and right and true; away from our own distorted truth and interpretation of His rules.
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:2)
"I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16)
"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
Even in the darkness His Holy Spirit is calling out to each of us to come out to be what He has created us to be:
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Even in the darkness He is calling out to us, reminding us that we are to live differently in this world:
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:8-14)
Even in the darkness He is calling us to be salt and light:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)
Even in the darkness He calls out for His followers to make a difference as the darkness tries to hide His truth. He is calling for each of us:
"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Even in the darkness He is still in control
New King James Version (NKJV)
All Scripture is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.