I want you to imagine what life would be like without electricity. Think of how dark things would get, once the sun set. You would have to make sure and be home, before dark, otherwise, it could be difficult to find your way. These days that is such an unfamiliar concept to us. Some say that we live in a “light polluted” world. Literal darkness really isn’t much of a thing in our day and age. However, I know that some of us are fully acquainted with what it means to be walking in darkness. Whether it’s tragedy, watching the news for an hour, or dealing with our own personal issues and shortcomings, things can seem dark. When we live in the dark it’s easy to hide things…and I’m good at hiding things. We’re all good at it. The idea of coming into the light can be terrifying for those of us who hide.
Why is living in the light so terrifying?
In John chapter 8, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Right after Jesus said this, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
This is what we all fear. That once my sin and my brokenness and my shame and my doubt and my unbelief and my questions and my confusion and my uncertainty is revealed, I will be put in front of the crowd for all to see – mocked and scorned, ridiculed and even put to the side.
I think we (the Church) are getting better at loving people, but we still wound our wounded. Now, unfortunately, we have and use social media as the place to bring accusations. You know what this kind of public shaming does? It keeps people in the dark. There’s no room in these environments for transparency and vulnerability. No room for full disclosure without fear of reprisal. So we keep the lights off. Day after day, and year after year, we never really open up our lives to Jesus or anyone else. No wonder we have an epidemic in suicides, depression, mental health issues, anxiety…we keep everything bottled up and in the dark.
Contrast that with what Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery:
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” His next words to the crowd were, “I am the light of world.”
You can trust Jesus with your deepest wound, pain, question, or doubt. One of the purposes of darkness whether it is our own failure, sin, or our hurt, wounds, depression, loss, grief…etc, is to keep us in the dark and to keep us away from the light of God’s love. Jesus wants to draw all of us who are living in darkness toward this light – this beacon. Where we will hear similar words the woman caught in adultery heard, “Where are your accusers? I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more.”