Light Out of Darkness
The theme of light runs through the whole Bible like a shining thread that is sometimes dimmed and or even covered up, but never completely put out. From the dawn of creation (Genesis 1:3) to the New Jerusalem lit by the Lord God (Revelation 22:5) we are reminded that while God is the true light of the world, we are also called upon to bear witness to the light in a world of darkness. Last year I encouraged all of us to spend the whole year dwelling in the account of the Sending of the Seventy in Luke 10:1- 12.
In this new year I invite you to join me in pondering 2 Corinthians 4:1-12. During the year I will suggest some reflection questions around this text, but today I invite you to notice all of the references to light, sight (or blindness), and to making things clear found in this text.
- What is the character of God’s light for the world?
- How is the church called to share that light?
- What other biblical texts come to mind?
May God’s light always guide us toward him who is our only light!
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
11For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.