And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Light is one of the most common themes in all of Scripture. If you think about it, Light vs. Dark is one of the most common themes in all of literature and entertainment. Countless stories have been told throughout the generation of Light triumphing over Darkness – from Beowulf to Star Wars, from The Lord of the Rings to Mean Girls, from Harry Potter to The Princess Bride. Light represents good, and dark represents evil.
But I want you to notice something in the passage above. On the opening day of Creation, God created Light and separated it from the Darkness. Here’s an interesting thing to keep in mind – God still put the darkness to use. We need darkness in our lives. Our bodies survive on a natural rhythm of light and darkness. It’s how we are able to produce melatonin which helps us fall asleep. Many animals are nocturnal and would not survive in complete light. I love what David says about light and darkness in Psalm 139.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
The natural state of the universe is darkness. Without nearby light sources, like our sun, space is completely black and devoid of light. But that’s not the case if you look back far enough in time. When scientists pointed their radio satellites into the darkest part of the visible sky, they accidentally found light. In the earliest days of our universe’s existence, everything was full of energy and light. The whole universe glowed brightly with what astronomers now call the “Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.”
Let there be light, indeed.
When we look at the night sky, what looks like complete darkness can actually be filled with light if we look hard enough – just like the human heart. Even in the most corrupt, most evil of people, I believe there is still a spark of light waiting to be ignited. Otherwise, Jesus could not have said this to a huge crowd of complete strangers:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
But how can we be the “light of the world” when we know how much darkness resides within us? Simply put, we can’t. On our own we try to hide our light out of shame for our darkness. Thank God he doesn’t leave us on our own.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 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 1:5-7)
On day one God created light, but he also left the darkness. There may still be darkness within us, but the closer we walk with God the brighter the light shines forth. As we embark on this journey over these forty days, I pray that you will learn to walk in the light and overcome the darkness. As the saying goes, it’s always darkest before the dawn. That’s just how it was on that Good Friday so long ago when Christ was crucified and sealed in a tomb. The world seemed darker than ever before, but a new day would dawn with the resurrection.
Do you remember being afraid of the dark? Why do you think that happens?
In what ways do you see darkness in the world and in your life?
Are there specific areas of your life in which you may be afraid to shine a light? Is there anything you are worried that the light might reveal?
How can you be the “light of the world” in your family? in your workplace? in your school? in your community? online?