As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts. In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom. We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.
A reading from the Epistle to the Ephesians.
You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. Therefore, test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord, and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal truth about them. It’s embarrassing to even talk about what certain persons do in secret. But everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light. Everything that is revealed by the light is light. Therefore, it says, “Wake up, sleeper! Get up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
This is the Word of The Lord.
Often, as I read Ephesians, I’m struck with the similarities that Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus has to John’s gospel written from Ephesus. One of these similarities is this theme of light/dark.
John begins his Gospel (John 1:1-18) with a discussion of light and dark. He draws a contrast between the light of God (a theme he carries on throughout the Gospel) and the dark of the world. How the light brings order to chaotic (dark) situations. How even in the midst of the darkest darkness, light can come. And, when light comes darkness leaves—every time.
Paul, in today’s text, also draws these same images. He talks about how we were once in darkness. We lived in the kingdom of the world. We yielded only to our flesh. Yet, now that we have become Followers of the Way we are no longer in darkness. Rather, we are to live as children of light.
He talks about the fruit produced by light—goodness, justice and truth. When we walk in the light, we produce this fruit. We produce the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).
Yet, this imagery of light and dark wasn’t a new concept with either Paul or John. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, also talked about our lives using this language:
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light-stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
Be light. Shine the goodness of God into the darkness. Shine His justice. Shine His truth!
Bring out the God-colors in the world!