Children of the Light: Reflecting on Going Deeper, Session 2
What percentage of our time are we casting a light with which others can see and know and understand the presence of God? Deacon Ralph Poyo asked us this question during the second Zoom meeting of our “Going Deeper” series. Session 2 focused on Ephesians 5:8-16:
For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
Sin leads us into darkness. Deacon Ralph used Galatians 5:19-23 to show us the “works of the flesh” that lead to darkness and the “fruit of the Spirit” that leads to light. He encouraged us to pray with this passage in Galatians, asking the Holy Spirit to expose where darkness has a hold in our lives. We can also ask the Holy Spirit to show us which virtues He is calling us to right now. Where does he want us to focus our efforts, our study, our prayer time? When we ask God to shine His light in our lives, He will.
One particular part of Deacon Ralph’s teaching that struck me was his use of Exodus 10:22-23 as a way to understand the function of light and darkness in our lives. This passage is about the plague of darkness, one of the ten plagues in Egypt, and it reads:
“So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was dense darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. People could not see one another, and for three days they could not move from where they were; but all the Israelites had light where they lived.”
Deacon Ralph went on: “The Israelites were free to see. Do we have the freedom to see the ways of God and what’s going on in our lives? Or is there a darkness due to deception, due to sin… because once we gravely sin against God we’re walking out of light and into darkness.” I had never thought before of sight as a freedom. Yet, this word from Deacon Ralph and this passage from Exodus makes it so clear: those who were in the darkness could not see one another and they could not move from where they were–the darkness imprisoned them right where they were. They were trapped. Unable to see, they were unable to move. On the other hand, those who lived in the light were free to see, to move, to live more fully.
When we live in the light, as children of the light, we are given the gift of freedom–the freedom to see. And what do we see as children of the light? We can see the goodness of God, the beauty of His creation, the dignity of each person we meet, the meaning of suffering, His work of redemption in this dark world. In the light, we will begin to understand what God is doing in the world and the ways He moves in our lives. The more we live in the light of Christ, the more we will see according to His sight and our hearts will become more fully alive in Him. What a gift! When you start to feel that the darkness of the world is spreading, recall this passage of Exodus. Imagine the land of Egypt in total darkness but with life-giving light spreading over the Israelites. In this dark world, you can live in the light!
Come, Holy Spirit.
Expose the areas of darkness in my own life.
I am sorry for the times I have entered into darkness.
I long to live in your light, Lord Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of light to see.
Please draw me more and more into your light until I rejoice in the light of your face for all eternity.
Please join us for the next session of “Going Deeper” on Thursday, August 12. The evening (via Zoom) will include praise and worship led by David and Christine Imler and a teaching by Deacon Ralph Poyo.
– Clare Schiller