Reflections: Thursday the Fourth Week of Lent

March 23,  2023

Today’s Reading:  Ephesians 5:8-14

Daily Lectionary: Gen 45:1-20, 24-28, Mark 13:1-23

Ephesians 5:14: “for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.””

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Shine light on everything. If it’s of the light, it will reflect. If it’s of darkness, it will flee. It’s a simple approach to life that will guide so many decisions. If you feel like you have to hide what you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t do it. If you feel like it needs to be a secret, what are you afraid of? If it is good and of the light, it will be known for what it is. It sounds so simple. It gets so messy.  

Because the world hides their sins. Honestly, we do too. We hide so much in the words, “I a poor miserable sinner” we want nobody to know.  We bury so much in our pasts. In our secrets. In our hearts.  I understand why.  

But Paul promises that the thing that becomes visible in light isn’t just our misdeeds. It’s Christ.  He calls the sleeper to wake. He promises to shine, even on those who sleep under death, which only comes from sin.  

Shine light on everything. Because Jesus forgives your sins. All of them. The hidden ones are not yours to keep secret. They’re Christ’s to leave buried under the cross.  For every burden we shelter in our hearts that should belong to the light, Paul implores us, not simply to behave and not drink too much.  He calls us to let the Light of the World confront our sins because He does so in order to call us out of the burdens they bring. It doesn’t mean shouting your secrets from the rooftops. But it means we have a place to bring the darkness in us. Expose it to the light and watch it flee. Our sins are brought to the Light of the World and forgiven where the Light of the World conquers death even as the sun is blotted from the sky. Light shall dwell in darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it.  Let the light shine even where we hide our sins. Let them be forgiven. Not hidden. Not excused. Atoned for. Walk as children of light.  That means take your sins to Jesus. It is pleasing to the Lord. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness, Dark as night and deep as death, Broke the light of Thy salvation, Breathed Thine own life-breathing breath. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end! (Thy Strong Word, LSB 578:2)

– Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.