Impending darkness takes many forms. With November comes markedly shortening days. Those leaving for work in the morning do so in the dark and as they leave darkness has closed around them again. There are fewer hours to seize to pack in the things we need to do outside, exercise, errands or jobs. Those who fear the onset of the winter and suffer from SAD become acutely aware of the impact on their feeling of well-being. This year, perhaps more than other years, we feel the darkness closing in and making the lock down imposition even more restrictive. The front door closes earlier in the evening and we know that it is well more than 12 hours before it opens again. If we are alone it is harder to face. If we feel trapped in the home we have longer to worry, more opportunities for being trapped into a circle of negative thought.
In the last week of his life Jesus could easily have been overcome with spiritual darkness. How did he manage both the spiritual and emotional threat? He found himself spiritually alone in a crowd. No one else truly understood him or his calling, even the closest of his followers were about to become confused and only make sense of things following his resurrection and ascension. Two things drove Jesus on, his loving obedience to God the Father and his love for his followers causing him to prepare them for what was to come. We see his love for his Father despite his troubles as he addresses God the Father in the presence of the Passover crowd. ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’ John 12.27
Oh, the heart of Jesus. Here we see his immeasurable, unstoppable love for the Father and the crowd whom he had come to save. Because of his love for us and the gift of the Holy Spirit when we face our darkest hours we can pray with Jesus, because he helps us in our prayers, glorify your name. He provides the light for us to live and walk in.
Jesus had built a relationship with the crowd who wanted to know more, some of whom were Greeks. They had just heard the voice of God replying to Jesus that he would indeed glorify his name. They had heard Jesus say that in some way he was to be lifted up. They had still not actually grasped that Jesus was the eternal son of man prophesied in Isaiah 9.7 and Ezekiel 37.25 but they had hunger in their souls.
Jesus then gave advice to them that stands today for all threatened by spiritual darkness. ‘Walk in the light while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.’ John 12.35 To the crowd at the time they literally were going to have Jesus with them for a day of two before his crucifixion and darkness was going to overtake them. Darkness brings with it a loss of direction, light brings a surer way forward. So, Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.’ John 12.35-36
John picked up on these words of Jesus when he wrote to the churches decades later. He called them to walk in the light of Jesus because in that light we have a relationship with God and each other and we do so, purified of our sin. It is a wholesome beautiful fellowship. Belief in Jesus brings that light because he is the light of the world. John 8.12 ‘If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.’ 1 John 1.6-7
Do you feel the darkness closing in, walk in the light.
Do you long for the light of Jesus in your life?
Do you need his light to see the path to take?
Walking in the Light of God worship video