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Lenten Devotional 2021: Day 10

Friday, February 26 – Written by Rev. Mark Aitchison

Living in the Light 1 John 1:5-10

Photo credit: Mary Beth Wallace

When John wrote this letter from Ephesus, he was an old man and the last surviving apostle. The generation that lived during Jesus’ earthly ministry is passing away, and the next generation is no longer learning the gospel from an apostle or someone sent directly by an apostle. False teachers and distorted gospels are cropping up in the young church. John steps in to settle the debate. In this letter John argues that as an apostle he is in a unique position to settle the debate because he was an eye-witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. Aren’t we blessed to have such a close link to Jesus? These letters to the church are a blessing indeed.

What is John teaching us today?

Light is a metaphor for life, truth and goodness. In order to recognize the true gospel, the first thing we need to remember is that God is light and in God there is no darkness.

What is the main value of light? Negatively, it helps you avoid danger. Positively, it helps you reach what you are after. When you walk in the darkness, you may stumble over a log, or step on a rattlesnake, or fall off a cliff, or hit your head on a low-hanging branch. Darkness is full of threat. It frustrates your ability to attain your goal. But light changes all that. Light exposes dangers and frees you from their lurking power. It opens the way to your goal. It is full of hope, and promises the glad realization of your goal.

The first picture of God that John wants to put before us is this picture of God as light. “God is light and in God is no darkness at all.” It means that if you draw near to God, you do not find a dark and foreboding truth. You find freedom and hope and joy. In God the stumbling blocks and rattlesnakes and cliffs and low-hanging branches are all exposed and we are made safe from them. Our goal of eternal joy is secured in God because there is no darkness in God. That is, there are no lurking shadows in God. There is no hidden agenda, no small print. God is light, and in God is no darkness at all.

Sometimes it feels like we are living in dark times. Certainly, living through a pandemic, is an experience of darkness. But even Covid 19 does not block the light and love of God. Safety protocols, travel restrictions and lockdowns can feel like darkness, but none of these things prevent us from living in a loving relationship with God. We don’t even need Zoom or You Tube to connect with God. The gift of prayer and meditation turn on the light and allow us to Make the Road by Walking with Jesus.

Prayer: Gracious God, we thank you that you have called us out of darkness into your marvelous light. Help us to be the peculiar people you have called us to be. Help us always live in the light of Jesus. Amen