Pastor’s Ponderings, April 2020

“The Light of the World”

Before God created anything in our physical world He created “light.”  On the first day of creation God said, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:3-4).  It is interesting that God doesn’t get around to creating the lights of the sky—the sun, moon and stars, until the fourth day.  Clearly, the “light” created on the first day does not pertain to mere physical light.  Actually, the Hebrew word translated as “darkness” means a “to twist away” from the light or the absence of light, and infers evil.  The gospel of John begins, testifying: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).  John is testifying that Jesus is the Light for mankind, and that His light has not be overcome by darkness.  Jesus, Himself, proclaimed: “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).  Jesus further promised: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46). 

Currently, we find ourselves in “dark” times, and there is much “fear” about this invisible enemy we know as the Coronavirus.  But we must remember that Jesus is our source of peace, and not fear.  Before His death, He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).  Jesus doesn’t promise us that we will not face dark times, but He does promise us peace and hope, even in the midst of darkness if we will believe and trust in Him.  Jesus told His disciples, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

The Holy Spirit reveals through the Apostle Paul that we will battle against “dark” forces, saying, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).  Paul then advises us to “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:13).  Paul is reminding us that only through our faith and trust in God can we endure the dark times we will encounter in this world.  And for those who endure by trusting in God, God provides assurance, saying, “Since you have kept My command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth” (Revelation 3:10).  What we are enduring right now is certainly testing the faith of people all over the world, but the Light of the world is shining in the darkness, and we will endure this through God’s power and presence.

Jesus has given Himself to us, that His light might dwell in us, and that we might shine forth His light so that others who walk in darkness may find hope and peace.  In His sermon on the mount, Jesus proclaimed: “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16). 

So how does this work, how does the Light shine in the darkness and overcome it?  Well, the Coronavirus has closed our church doors, and suspended most of our ministries, but still the Light is shinning brighter than ever.  When our doors were open, we averaged about 100 in worship.  Right now, between YouTube and Facebook, we are averaging over 400 viewers of our Sunday live streamed worship services.  I received a message from a viewer today, saying, “I have been wanting to visit your church, but I am usually working a 12 hour shift on Sunday.  I am a nurse and there is so much fear right now.  I needed to be reminded that I have no reason to fear.  Thank you.”  Yes, God’s Light is shining in the darkness.

Your fellow servant in Christ,

Pastor Harold