This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. (1 John 2:7-8)
Relate: When you wake up in the middle of the night, it would be wise to listen to your feet. I’m serious. I know, I know, we never really do. Who, after all, is wise at 2 in the morning? When you wake up, there are these urges and you know there is no possible way you will ever fall back asleep unless you walk over to the bathroom and empty yourself. Of course we all know the way to the bathroom. We have traversed it every night since the beginning of time. But somehow, when it’s dark, things like to move around. The door ends up sneaking over another couple feet to the left. The bookshelf creeps further and further away from the wall. That dining room chair that you know you pushed back under the table after dinner somehow has crawled all the way to the middle of the hall.
It is the job of your poor feet to find all these obstacles for you. They don’t like this job. In fact, they hate it. Before you are fully out of bed your feet are already calling up, “Turn on the light. The slippers are right here. I know it.” But your brain isn’t listening. It’s still half caught up with the dream where it is flying a plane that looks a lot like a school bus through clouds that are made of marshmallows. Your hand is working in agreement with your still sleeping brain and is stuffing pieces of yummy marshmallow flavored pillow in your mouth. But then the feet hit the ground and your brain snaps out of it right quick. That ground is cold. At least it is for the right foot. The left one did manage to find a slipper. The right foot slipper, but lefty isn’t about to give it up. It’s too warm and comfy. Plus it offers a bit of protection for what both feet know is coming.
Now that the brain is more fully awake, the feet call up again, “Hey up there! Turn on the lights. You can’t see.” But the brain calls down, “You shut up and do your job. I know where I’m going.” The elbows giggle. They know the brain has no clue, but they also know they are pretty safe. It’s the feet’s job to find the obstacles and find them they do. “Oooh, ouch. Doh.” If there is a piece of furniture anywhere in the house, your feet will somehow manage to run into it on the ten foot walk from the bed to the bathroom. I swear I’ve even managed to stub my toes on the dryer that walked up from the basement and the tree that lived in the back yard but snuck in the house one night. It’s true. Really. The tree was at least kind enough to leave an acorn on top of the playstation before sneaking back out where it belonged just so I would know I wasn’t dreaming.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a lamp right by my bedside I could turn on without even leaving the bed. Beyond that, One step from my bed is the light switch and it isn’t very nimble. Even if it does move around a bit, just a little groping along the wall will quickly find it. I could save my poor feet so much pain and suffering if only I listened to them on these 2AM excursions… but I never do.
React: Our world was a whole lot like the scenario I have described. Every part of the body is out for its own convenience, comfort or benefit. Nobody cares about others and those living “boots on the ground” are the ones who suffer. Nobody else seems to care, however, as long as they don’t have to get involved. Even worse than this, unanticipated roadblocks and hindrances seem to continuously get in our way and inflict unanticipated pain. Then Jesus shows up. Not only does He bring with Him the light, but He shows us how to walk in the light as well.
In a world filled with darkness, unpleasant surprises, pain, and blindness, His love is our joy. Will we now follow Him, walking in love, that the world around us will rejoice with us?
God, I am so thankful that You came. Your appearance on this earth pushed back the darkness and showed us a way through. You are our Redeemer, You are our Lord, and You are also our Light. Help us now to walk in Your light. Help us to carry it, through our obedience to You and love for our neighbor, into the dark places that the world might truly rejoice in You.