… 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, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from every sin. – 1 John 1:5 -7 (NIV)
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When we think of darkness, what associations come to mind? For some reason, the first thing that springs to my mind is night in a jungle, with snakes and spiders and who knows what else crawling around. And so, my list of associations would include:
- Sleep – and rest.
- Contraction, or contractedness.
And so, with light, we would have corresponding associations:
- Action and activity.
- Expansion and exploration.
Thus, to say “Let there be light” also says “Let there be life!”
Notice that God does not eliminate darkness! Rather, some of the darkness is transformed, enriched, overcome – but not obliterated. In other words, there is a place for darkness in our spiritual life, and in our emotions as well, especially as we let the Light penetrate into those places. We are given more room to grow, toward God and each other. Again, the plot thickens.
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It comes from God, through Christ, as saith the Apostle, God, that commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness, hath shined in our Hearts, to give the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God in the Face of Jesus Christ. ‘Tis God’s Gift unto us, and therefore well may we return Thanks unto him for his unspeakable Gifts: God is the Author of it, who is Light, and in him is no Darkness at all; for he covereth himself with Light, as with a Garment, and dwelleth in that Light which is inaccessible, which no mortal Eye can approach unto, he is the Father of Lights; and therefore hath he given a Measure of his own Divine Light to all Mankind, to reveal himself unto them, that so they may know substantially what he is, and not worship him as the unknown God. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)