September 29 – Light in the Darkness

You may have noticed the new street lights in Middletown Township. They showed up in our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the township is going to save all sorts of money by shifting from sodium vapor lights to the new LED lights. Good for them. And good for us, I say.

Sodium vapor lights have been used everywhere for the past few decades, providing a dull orange nighttime glow to our streets and cityscapes. I never liked them.

The light from the new LED lamps seems more akin to the light of a full moon on a clear night than to a scene from some film about our dystopian future. I’ll take the full moon over dystopia any day.

Light is, of course, one of the powerful images used in Scripture to describe God’s presence in our world and what it means to live in fellowship with him.

In a prophecy that finally anticipates the coming of Christ, the prophet Isaiah writes, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” (Isaiah 9:12)

John describes the coming of Christ and his abiding presence by saying, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

Jesus says of himself, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Again John says, “Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.” (1 John 2:10

Paul sees the followers of Jesus reflecting Jesus’ own light, praying “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

In fact, our future is not dystopian, but filled with God’s light in that bright land to which we go, “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)

A dull orange glow of despair fills the twilight hours in which we now live. Distrust, disharmony, and discouragement are the markers of our divided time. We can’t even watch a football game as friends.

I am glad for the new street lights in our neighborhood. Their glow is more like the light of the moon on a clear night than the disturbing and foreboding light in a scene from a dystopian future.

They say the new lights are going to save the township millions of dollars.

If those of us who know the light walk in the light, who knows how it might change our crooked and twisted generation. There really is no need to stumble.

See you Sunday