Today’s Reading: Ephesians 5:1-9
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 35:1-29; Mark 9:33-50
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth). (Ephesians 5:8-9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Darkness in Scripture is always more than the physical absence of light. It is a spiritual darkness, too. The presence of disorder, chaos, and wanton evil. The darkness of sin. The shadow of death. The tenebrous shroud that overshadows God’s creation which was once proclaimed, “very good.”
We live in darkness. A fallen world full of fallen men, who, Jesus declares, “love the darkness rather than the Light” (John 3:19). Humanity follows the broken compass of our fallen flesh, a needle constantly pointed inward, drawn by the gravity of our sinful, selfish desires. Such is the darkness of fallen mankind, a mind, will, and heart of darkness whose thoughts are continually evil. No wonder that C.S. Lewis, when writing his science-fiction space trilogy, called earth the “silent planet.” Silent and dark.
Notice Paul’s choice of verbs. Once you were darkness. Past tense. Now you are light in the Lord. Present, indicative tense. In Christ, who is the Light of the world, our past sin and darkness have been changed into an eternally present reality: You are light in the Lord Jesus.
Unlike our love that so often fades, God’s brilliant love for us in Christ does not flicker. His grace and mercy to you cannot be snuffed out. Christ’s peace is no rolling blackout whose light comes and goes. No. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the Light no darkness can overcome. In His birth for us, His life for us, His death and resurrection for us, we have received God’s true, enduring, endless, and eternal Light.
In Jesus, you are a child of the light. You are a city set on a hill. Do not hide who you are, but “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Reflect the light of Christ as you share the Good News of Jesus, born for you, with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors. This, too, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Grant, most merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.