1 John 2; 2 Chronicles 35; Psalm 89:38-52
You would think that the difference between light and dark would be obvious. It is a theme that people have talked about through the ages. Plato used that concept in his allegory of the cave. In that picture, people are in darkness, seeing mere shadows not knowing that the light can reveal all truth. Plato makes philosophy the light. John portrays a struggle between those in the light; those who follow Christ, and those who are not in the light; those who don’t follow Christ. In speaking to those who claim to walk in the light of Christ, he makes a bold accusation: “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” (I John 2:9) The message is that the light of Christ will make us love others who follow Christ. It is unfortunately a message that has not been heeded through the ages. We have seen many followers of Christ who have decided that other followers were not worthy of love because of a slightly different belief set in non-essential areas. Some believers are not considered worthy of love because of where they live and how those experiences have shaped their faith. Our actions towards each other actually become hateful when they are not done out of love. We have belittled each other, attacked each other, and hated each other. Even among those who believe like we do we have turned our back on those caught in sin, often claiming that it is because we walk in the light that we act that way. John’s message is clear – when we have done these things we have not been walking in the light of Christ, we have been walking in the darkness of the world. The love we have for our brothers and sisters in Christ should be the same kind of love that Jesus has for us. He loved us unconditionally. He sacrificed Himself to draw us into a restored relationship with God. He continues to walk with us and guide us even when we have shown this kind of hatred. He still loves us. We honor God’s love for us by loving fellow Christians first, and then loving the world that God loves so much. There is no room for hatred in the heart of a Christian. God doesn’t have time for that.
Oh Lord, how often do I try to take Your place and decide who is worthy of my love. Remind me that the driver in the next lane who just cut me off is someone You loved enough to die for. Remind me that those of other faith traditions who are in darkness are people that You died for also – no matter how bad their sin may be. Let my life reflect the love You have for others.