What does Genesis have to tell us about the Light?
The beautiful account of creation in the book of Genesis begins by revealing to us, that when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, and the breath of God swept over the face of the waters. Then, God spoke, ‘Let there be light’ (Genesis 1:3). And the very next verse in Genesis 1:4, goes on to say, And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from darkness. So we encounter two dimensions – Light and darkness. We can either belong to the Light or belong to the darkness. The choice lies ahead of us!
Though, light in simple terms means, a natural agent which stimulates sight making things visible and darkness means the absence of light, both these terms signify a much deeper spiritual meaning and have been used as imageries throughout the Bible. So, what do these terms signify?
Light signifies the power of holiness, wisdom, grace and a life filled with the Spirit. In John 8:12, Jesus declares, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’’ Jesus declares Himself as the ‘light.’ Hence, we are called to follow the path of the light, which will ultimately lead us to heaven.
What does Genesis have to tell us about Darkness?
Darkness signifies the power of evil. Ephesians 5:11 says, ‘Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them’. So, we can relate darkness to living a life of sin. We see various forms of darkness in the world today, brought about by sin. By turning away from the light, darkness has enveloped many marriages leading to broken homes, enticing of youth, addictions, cheating, violence, greed, murders and disharmony among people and nations. Therefore following the path of darkness involves lack of peace, sadness, frustration and deception that ultimately leads a person to hell.
The evil (darkness) is the absence of God (light). Now, whether to live a life in the light or in darkness, is a personal choice. No one else can make the choice for you. We cannot blame others if we are living a life of sin. For example, a man who has the habit of stealing may blame his parents for not correcting him when he was a child. Even though the parent is guilty for not giving good values to the child, yet the grown up child is responsible for committing the sin, thus choosing a life of darkness. For he had a choice to live in the light instead of following the darkness. Jesus said, “But if they walk during the night they stumble, because they have no light.” (John 11:10)
The Word of God aptly explains to us that we are made for eternal life – ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). So, in order to be able to enjoy this favour of the Lord, we should be people who love the light.
If we look at the world around us, we find that even Christians often get attracted to darkness, instead of choosing to live in the light.
Those who live in darkness are drawn to a even deeper darkness. “If the light in you is darkness how terribly dark it will be!(Mathew 6:23). The devil is like a rodent that is active when there is darkness all around. St Peter warns us of this in 1 Peter 5:8 ‘Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. We need to live in the light at all times of our life. Once we decide to become people of the light we need to follow the few basic steps to become ‘Children of the Light.’
How does one live in the Light?
1. Come into the light:
This is the first step in this beautiful journey. In Ephesians 5:8, we learn how to come into the light. ‘For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of the light’. How is this possible? By reading and meditating on the Word of God, we encounter the light in our lives. The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130). Also the Psalmist says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105). When we attend the retreat and listen to God’s Word we encounter Christ who is the light. As we listen to God’s word we are made aware for dark areas of our lives. This should lead us to make a good confession, through which we are freed from the power of darkness in our lives and we allow the light of Christ to shine on us.
2. Remain in the light:
The next step is remain in the light, this calls for perseverance! Just because we are freed from darkness and have found the light does not mean we have made it. Instead, we need to keep the light burning at all times. The fire must always be kept burning on the altar and never allowed to go out. (Leviticus 6:13)
We need to inculcate a regular time for personal prayer, sacramental life and daily reading of the Bible. Also we need to separate ourselves from those living in darkness and instead find fellowship with like-minded Christians who love the Lord. They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers. (Acts 2:42). “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
3. Let your light shine:
The third step of becoming the people of the light is not become self-satisfied after finding the light, but we need to share the light to those around us. Our Lord said, “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:15)
There is a purpose for light! With this privilege comes the responsibility. We need to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the needy world around us. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). As we share the light of Christ, the darkness of sin fades away as it illumines the minds of those trapped in darkness.
As we seek to increase our love for God and strive to love our neighbour, the light of Christ The darkness will surely fade, because it cannot exist in the presence of light. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. And day by day, the hope of God’s light will grow within us, “brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”
We share our light with others in the way we live. When we show kindness and love to our fellow men in all that we do, we share our light. When we are honest in our dealings with others, we share our light.
And when we share our light with others, we brighten the world. One light, at a time.