Today is the first full day of summer. Summer begins with the summer solstice, when the sun’s most direct light is focused on the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° N latitude). The light from the sun is powerful. It heats the earth (especially this time of year!), it allows life to grow and develop on Earth, and it helps us see where we are going.
In the Creation, “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”¹
The account in Genesis goes on to say that God created the sun (“the greater light”) and the moon (“the lesser light”).
My wife and I have been working on updating our master bathroom lately—which has needed updating since I bought the house over 10 years ago! Last weekend, we removed an old, outdated light fixture above the tub and replaced it with a more modern LED light fixture. The difference is like night and day! The old fixture had a 60-watt incandescent bulb. The new LED fixture has numerous tiny little lights built into it. They may be tiny, but they shine brightly! The new light brightens up the bathroom so much, that it now shows all of the imperfections in the newly painted walls in the bathroom. You can more easily see where we patched the walls to fix minor issues that were there before.
While the bathroom still looks much better than it did before, it’s not perfect. And its lack of perfection is even more noticeable now that we’ve installed a new light fixture. Isn’t that how life in Christ is? When we ask Him to lead our lives, His light should emanate from us to others, revealing all of our collective impurities, flaws, sin.
Darkness engenders sin. Light exposes it.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”² Jesus makes it clear that light equals life and darkness does not.
Claiming to be a Christian, but ignoring the Light is incongruous, isn’t it? We all sin, including Christians. But do you know someone who identifies as a Christian, yet continues to sin or deny that his or her actions are sinful?
“…Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” – Romans 6:12-13 (NIV)
We all live in a world of sin and darkness, and fall victim to it. But, if you’re a follower of Christ, you should not desire to continue to live in sin, to ignore sin, or to make excuses for sin. Let your light shine, even if it shines back on you, exposing the need for repentance.
I pray you take these thoughts into this weekend. If you haven’t visited a Bible-believing church in a while (or never)—plan today to do that this Sunday. That’s a great way to “finish strong Friday!”
¹ Genesis 1:3-4 (RSV)
² John 8:12 (RSV)