31ST AUGUST 2021
LIGHT VERSUS DARKNESS
1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-6.9-11
How profound is the opening verse of today's Psalm which says:" The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom shall I fear? "
In the ancient world there were two kinds of light: the sun and the lamp. The sun is always brilliant, unable to be stared at, and, like God, the sun gives light, warmth and life and highlights beauty. No wonder some people worshipped the sun.
God's most primal gift to us is light. What did God say on Day One during creation?
God said, " Let there be light. " John echoes these words of God by saying, " God is light and in him is no darkness at all"- 1 John 1:15.
We are not much afraid of the light but we do fear darkness and many other things and due to this fear in our culture, we invest in security in terms of locks and guns.
Is it possible that at times we also fear the light and would thus prefer to be surrounded by darkness?
Paul writes to the Thessalonians in the First Reading: " For you are sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. " These words of Paul show that some people are in favour of darkness because favouring light will deny them the opportunity to do what they want in a way that is contrary to one thing that they should seek, that is, to live in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives.
Are there some things that you prefer to do during the day or do you prefer doing them comfortably and confidently at night?
Biblically, darkness means choosing what is not good and not walking in the ways of God ; and being a son or daughter of light is a reference to what one does, as an outward manifestation of who one is.
In order to get a clear and a deep understanding as to why the Psalmist says, " The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom shall I fear? " let us bear in mind that when it got dark in the biblical times, they lit lamps, not the brilliant LED lanterns you can purchase today but simple pottery lamps with a single wick and a flame casting just enough light to see a short distance ahead. It means it was very difficult for them to see ahead as they walked at night.
Is it not the same case today with us?
That there is a lot of darkness brought about by the demons of anger, hatred, pride, jealousy, corruption, violence or even the resistance of what is good. What do unclean demons do to us? Rather than build up, they tear down Rather than encourage, they disparage Rather than promote love, they see hate. In all these, can we see darkness lurking around us and in us?
Anything that is opposed to the Spirit of God controls you, and harms you and others is an unclean spirit that possesses you and when Jesus casts out demons from the man in the synagogue in today's Gospel reading , it shows that he wanted to lead him into the light that God intended for us.
In a world full of constant struggle between light and darkness ,may God guide our steps and help us to be sober as we encourage and strengthen each other in faith and love so as to dwell in the light of God.