Let There Be Light!

New World UMCPastor's Blog

Darkness. What is it? There is physical darkness, the absence of light to allow us to see or be warm. This is the darkness of night, which is natural and needed. At night, when the sun is down, and the light from the stars is dim, we can rest. When winter comes and the days grow short, the cold allows the earth to rest and renew.

But there are other kinds of darkness. The Bible speaks of two in particular. The darkness of the mind and the darkness of the spirit.

The darkness of the mind is the lack of knowledge, a state of confusion, and obliviousness. It is amoral and is neither good nor evil; it is simply ignorant. When referring to not knowing something, the phrase “I am in the dark” explains this concept: “Did you know this was happening? No, I was kept in the dark.”

The way to overcome the darkness of the mind is by learning and being aware of what is happening around us. Like the picture of a lightbulb in or on top of our heads that represents that process of insight and knowledge, the “Aha!” or “Wow!” moments when we come into the light, so to speak. (Kids always do this because they ask “Why?” a lot.)

Regarding spiritual darkness, the Bible refers to it as the absence of God in people. Just as light symbolizes holiness, goodness, grace, and hope, by contrast, darkness is associated with evil, sin, and despair. A great example of that is 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” The apostle Peter explains here the process of those who, once they know and believe in Jesus and experience his love and grace, are moved from a life of ignorance and despair into a life of revelation and hope, hence, “Called out of darkness into light.”