The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
I know what darkness feels like.
How consuming it is, how final it feels, how exhausting it is to live in.
Darkness is violent.
Whatever form it takes, it tends to choke the life out of us or turn our worlds into something heavier than we can bear.
If you have known darkness like me, I bet you know what I'm talking about.
Even worse, sometimes we don't know how dark it has become until after the light shows up.
We don't know how dire our lonely existence is until the light shows us what we've been missing.
Why do I love Jesus?
Because He is my light in the dark.
Did you know that October 31st was not just Halloween but also Reformation Day?
What's Reformation Day?
It's one of those days that the light overcame the dark.
It's the day that the man Martin Luther became a single shining star casting brilliance into the darkness that had swallowed up the church.
You see, in the middle ages, most churches had become quite corrupt.
Since printed Bibles were coveted scarcities, the church officials could make the Word of God say whatever they wanted it to say.
Mostly, they preached that salvation could be earned through good works or purchased through donations to the church.
If that's not darkness, I don't know what is!
The masses were not wealthy enough to afford salvation and their lifestyles were no where close to earning them salvation.
It was a very hopeless time.
But then Martin Luther, an educated man, got his hands on an actual Bible.
What he read astonished him.
He uncovered the corruption of the church and boldly began teaching the true words of Christ to whoever would listen.
He wrote his 95 Theses exposing the church and relating the truth of the Gospel.
Then he nailed those truths to the front door of the church in the middle of Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517.
For the first time, people heard the promises of Christ.
Promises like, "I am the light of the world! Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
And, "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. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 5:7-9
Can you imagine?
These people were literally living in the time period called "The Dark Ages".
They had nothing good, nothing clean, nothing true.
They didn't even know what they were missing.
But after the darkness, came the light.
The men, women, and children of that time began hearing the Gospel.
The beautiful truth that God created them and loved them even in their most desperate existence.
Sometimes I wish I could hear it again for the first time.
How sweet it is for the light to come on for the very first time.
What an unburdening for all who choose to believe.
Martin Luther's actions were just the beginning of the movement we have now come to call the Reformation.
His brave act was the first domino to fall and what evolved from it is the church today.
That's the thing about light.
It always wins.
Even just a teeny tiny bit of light in a dark room changes everything.
If darkness is violent hopelessness, light is redeeming victory!
Jesus claimed he was the light of the world.
To me, this means he is our beacon of hope.
I know Harry Potter as nothing to do with Jesus, but if you are familiar at all with the stories, you have probably already caught a certain quote running through your head while reading this post.
Dumbledore told Harry, "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light".
Turn on the light.
Turn to THE light.
My Jesus truly lights up my world.
Had I no other reason to breath, the light He has shed on my existence would be enough.
His death and resurrection shine brighter to me than all else.
So I do not lose hope when the darkness comes calling.
Because I know...
...after darkness, LIGHT!
To end, I want to say, this is why as a Christian, I don't shun Halloween.
Christ lives within me.
This means I carry His light inside me.
What better night to love my neighbor (literally) than this night?
What better night to light up the street with Christ's love in the form of playfulness and Snicker's bars?
He has given me His light, and I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
Want to read some more on the topic of Halloween and/or Reformation Day? Check out these great blog posts! (not written by me)