“Jesus spoke to the people once more and 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.””
John 8:12 NLT
“The light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.””
Ephesians 5:14 NLT
The world is a dark place and it seems to grow darker daily. When I say dark here, I do mean spiritually dark, but I also mean intellectually dark. For thousands of years the world grew darker in both respects as satan and his followers, through pantheons and philosophical systems, controlled the hearts of Earth’s people. Yet there has been a change in the darkness’ grip, as Jesus told those who believed him:
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14 NLT
Those who believe him are his Church, a word that means “called out ones.” And we are called out of the darkness into his light. We’ve been awakened to the reality that this world’s gods are not God at all, but defeated ghosts of former powers, governments, rulers, and philosophies. But our awakening doesn’t stop there. Since we are on that hill, we are in charge of lighting the way for the remaining lost, those who wander without hope or love or even any knowledge beyond what their extended arms can touch.
We Fell Asleep
The one called satan had plunged this world into darkness when he tempted and succeeded in causing our ancestors to sin. In his tripping us and causing us to fall, we discovered injustice, pain, weeping, destruction, lies, death, thefts, and jealousies. These were just tips of the iceberg floating in the Abyss. Because as Society formed from the ruins of our Fall, even more morbid sins froze our hearts further. And so much was the injustice that God saw sprawl across Earth that in His justice, he sentenced humanity to death. But in His mercy, he left a few men and women to repopulate a cleansed slate.
Yet Society lost itself in the darkness soon once more: see the famous story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. You see, Society disobeyed God’s command to spread around the globe; instead it gathered in one valley out of selfish ambition. Who cares about the rest of the planet, they thought. Let’s make our city in a valley and glory ourselves.
Our City, however, is on a hill. It’s a beacon for the Light we must not keep to ourselves. It is not meant for our own glory, but to showcase the Glory of the One who died for it.
The Great Awakening
The disgraced and fallen being called satan set out from the beginning to enslave the Earth and did a thorough job of it. He snuffed out knowledge of the true Creator, replacing it with twisted versions and tales of the truth (see Romans 1). As a species, we fell asleep to bedtime stories of gods and goddesses who were not God at all, but instead only fallen, bruised beings with makeshift backstories and scribbled-on, powerless names. But though their power was false, the hearts and minds of humanity made it all real: we enforced it. In a sense, we tucked ourselves into this bed the so-called gods made, and there we committed adultery with them. That is to say, we left our first Love, the God of Heaven and Earth, to instead defile ourselves under the sheets with idols, myths, philosophies, and lies. And after our pleasures were made, we feel asleep beside those gods.
But when we woke up to the Light of Christ, our world was illuminated. So intense is Christ’s light that we could now see the truth and the lies side by side and easily judge the difference. We realized that, under the cover of darkness, any being can claim to be God. But in God there is no darkness:
“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”
1 John 1:5 NLT
So if Christ is the Light of the World, and so are we, what do we do with that power? How is that power manifested in real life? How do we avoid the temptation to build our City down in the valley and forget about the world around us? Because isn’t staying in our bedroom just asking to fall back asleep?
I don’t want to fall asleep again; there’s so much to do.
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”
Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT