Reading: Ephesians 5: 8-14
Verses 8 and 10 – Live as children of the light… and find out what pleases God.
Paul opens this passage with a statement that is true at times: “you were once darkness”. Before accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we were in darkness. Once we accept Christ as Lord of our life, we live in the light. But I don’t think we are ever fully free from the darkness. We do not dwell there, but we visit from time to time. We all have moments when the light does not shine, moments or even seasons, when we say or do things that are definitely not holy or godly. The light within us rises up and shines and brings conviction as our sins are exposed and become visible. This leads to repentance and a return to living in the light. Living as children of the light is a daily effort. It is only through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit that we begin to have a chance. Coupled with the support, love, grace, encouragement, accountability… from our communities of faith, we can live a life as a child of God – pleasing God and bringing glory and honor to His name.
What can one do to please God? First, it begins with our individual lives being pleasing to God. This means honoring the two great commandments: love God with all we are and love neighbor as Christ first loved us. It means being Jesus’ hands and feet, it means being a servant to all, it means placing the needs of others above our own needs. Second, we shine the light out into the world. We allow others to see Christ’s love in us. They experience and meet Jesus Christ through us. This draws others in to His love. At times, the light will shine into other’s darkness. In these moments, we cannot turn away. Sometimes the darkness that gets exposed is in those we meet. It is scary to step out of the dark. As children of the light, we must take their hand and guide them on their journey of faith. And sometimes the light shines on injustice or poverty or prejudice or oppression or … We cannot turn away from these either. As children of God, we must stand against all forms of evil and darkness. We must be present here too, always working to advance God’s kingdom here on earth.
This day and every day, may we”live as children of the light”, bringing God all the honor and glory that He is due.