Last Sunday at The Well we worshiped Christ as “The light of the world,” the one who shines in the midst of darkness, the timeless truth of God’s sacrificial love…but what about the darkness? In the beginning, darkness was. Scripture says, “The earth was a formless void, and darkness covered the face of the deep.” God’s first act of creation was allowing light to be, and separating the darkness from it. So what happened to it? The darkness that once was something became nothing. In other words, you can’t turn on a shadow. You can create a shadow by blocking the light, but a shadow can’t stand on it’s own because it is the result of light being hindered.
This is why I say that the devil is as real as a shadow. It must drive the devil mad to know that it is nothing. While you walk in the light you cast a shadow on all that is behind you. Thank God the past is forgiven. I often don’t preach on the devil out of fear that I make the devil sound more interesting than God. Take note during this time of year how easy it is to find Judas more interesting than Jesus. Likewise preaching about sin and vice can sometimes be like reading the rules to a youth group—you just give them ideas. I would imagine that many of us could recall the seven deadly sins much more quickly than Jesus’ eight beatitudes.
With that said, Lent is a time to let go of our sin–that which separates us from God and from each other, the illness in our soul that can only be healed through the grace of Jesus Christ. Darkness will never produce light. It can’t. It can’t produce anything because it’s self is nothing. Sometimes the first step in turning from a vice is to realize how much time you devote to nothingness.
That’s the beauty of the Gospel. Jesus invades our nothingness with something–the something that is the only thing–life itself.