Imagine living in complete darkness. There is never any light. You have no ability to rely on your sight to navigate, your only hope is to memorize where objects are by the unscientific method of groping with hands and banging with shins. Household items become painful enemies or at best, mysterious unknowns. The blindness does more than render your motor skills next to useless, it makes the usually simple acts of finding food and water a daily search for a holy grail. . .
Now imagine a whole mass of humanity in the same darkness, and in their blindness, just as desperate to find food and water, cursing over the same obstacles, panicked and fearful of the same unknowns. Would we trust each other? Would our voices alone be able to make peace with the strangers in the night? Would hunger trump trust? Would we all be monsters? It is not hard to imagine the answers to these questions. . .
For the last of the Lost Quotes series, I wanted to share this little line I found hastily written on a torn piece of paper, folded and forgotten in the back of a drawer:
"Light brings unity."
When light comes, the enemy can be truly seen. It is just the coffee table. It is just the stairs. It is just my neighbor and they too are hungry. The world we stumble around in is the same for all of us, and we are all the same. But it takes light to bring unity amongst people. . .it takes light for us to truly see each other, and to truly see ourselves. They were the monsters, but I was the monster too.
Light brings unity, a sense of union with another person, we are together, we are not enemies.
John writes in his first epistle:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 NIV)
People can only have true fellowship with each other in the light, if they remain in darkness, everyone is an adversary to be tricked, to be used, to be avoided, or to be harmed.
Jesus says in John 3, after describing being born again, seeing the Kingdom, and receiving eternal life:
"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure." (John 3:19-20 Message)
We fear the exposure of the light, so we remain enemies in the dark.
Only the Light of Christ can bring us into union with the triune God, and only in Him can we have the fellowship with others for which we were designed. In fact, Paul indicates life only really begins when we are in the light of Christ, until then we shuffle around as spiritual zombies, dead but hungry, hurting ourselves and fighting anything we meet in the darkness. . .
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
There is no unity with God and people without living in the light. And that light is Christ and is only found in Christ.
(Further reading: There are so many light passages! Too many for a simple blog! Follow the trail of LIGHT in the gospel of John starting in 1:4 and be amazed at this metaphor, chosen by God, to communicate the truth of knowing God and human living. Or the gospel of Matthew starting in 4:16 or 2 Timothy 1:10 or 1 Peter 2:9 or. . . )