Today, during our weekly bible study at Bud’s Warehouse, we discussed darkness. I asked everyone gathered around the table to share about dark times.
In a job training program working with ex-offenders, one would expect stories of bad choices, of times when one lived for self at a big cost to others. Indeed, those tales were told. But others also shared about the darkness of losing a loved-one and about the agony of feeling that the future held no hope. One person detailed the darkness of running into former friends and hearing tales celebrating the “good old days” of stealing, drinking and drugging.
Everyone agreed that our world is a dark place. They shared how the absence of light causes darkness. I listened as they taught that people choose darkness because they are scared to tell the truth of their life. They echoed Jesus when he taught that “men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20)
We then read Jesus words in John 3:21 that “whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” We celebrated together the miracle of God saving in the midst of a dark world. Ex-offenders are blessed with a deep understanding of the difficulty of leaving dark places and the miracle of faith. And transformed lives are like a good infection. Those who move from dark places into the light infect others with the light of Jesus, transforming whole families.
We ended our study where we started at John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This treasured verse offers the great truth of how the light of Jesus ended the darkness.