The Armor of Light
We begin The Season of Advent As the days grow shorter and the nights seem to get darker, i almost seems like a contest. Who will win? Darkness or light. That was an ancient worry. In many pre-Christian cultures, December was considered the most dreaded time of year, when the lack of heat and light spelled danger. The cold was stark and the darkness seemed like it would last forever.
But light will have its way. It has from the very beginning.
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
There will always be light, because darkness is merely an absence of light. Light is the building block of all things. We are being of light and are made in the image of God, who is light. From the First Epistle of John:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
There is no darkness in God. The spiritual darkness we see in the world is not from God. Jesus came to bring light:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it. (John 1:1-5)
Not everyone wanted the light of Christ, however. His light either brought new abundant like, or it brought judgment against the darkness. Reading from the third chapter of John:
And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. (John 3:19-29)
We are living in an age where spiritual darkness is on the increase. We see it all around us. But much of it is being exposed and people are attempting to hide in propaganda and untruths. What they do not realize is that judgment is coming. The judgment will be catastrophic, as in the time of Noah. From today’s Gospel:
Jesus said to the disciples, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:36-39)
How do we prepare for such a time? The Apostle Paul wrote:
You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:11-14)
We need to put on the armor of light. We need to put on Jesus. As his disciples, need to walk the path he has laid out for us. Isaiah wrote:
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord! (Isaiah 2:5)
When we do we walk in the blessings of God. The light of Christ will shine in us and through us. People will begin to see this. Jesus said:
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
We are living in a time of judgment. We are also living in a time of God’s glory. What we choose will mot only impact us, it will impact the whole world.