What is Darkness Good For?


John 3:19

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Can you think of some things that darkness is good for? Darkness is usually pretty good for sleeping. In fact you might even have blinds in your house that are called like blackout blinds or something. Maybe you particularly appreciate them for children so that they go to sleep or so that they can continue sleeping. Darkness, I’ve noticed, at least in a few establishments I’ve been in has been a pretty good friend to those establishments. Maybe the light is poor enough that it keeps you from dwelling on how unclean the floor is. Or something like that.

I have a two-year-old son who is always very happy to go and turn on the lights in his sister’s bedroom and they often are not so impressed with the light that comes pouring through into their pleasant darkness.

Darkness can be a help, but we might have experienced the shock sometimes if light comes pouring in through the house just right through the windows, you might all of a sudden realize, oh my. There is a lot of dust in here. It can reveal things that we would just as soon not be revealed. Light can do that and so darkness sometimes becomes our friend.

God speaks of light and darkness in connection with truth and that which is not truth or that which is lies. In fact Jesus himself says

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

Light comes into the world. It’s God’s light and he means for it to be here, but one of the reasons we don’t like it is because our own deeds, the things that we do or that we love to keep doing, they are shown to be what they are in the light. And so the darkness we think is our friend that hides our own sins or the sins of the culture around us from us having to think on it or know of them. The light shows us our uncleanness, but that’s not the only thing that light does.

In fact perhaps even the more important thing that light does is that it brings life. Natural light delivers vitamin D and most living things can’t do without it. Light in addition to showing something that’s clean from unclean light also gives life. So also when Jesus refers to himself as the ‘light of the world’ he says ‘I am the light that gives life.’

He is the vitamin D for us who would otherwise be dying and all of our darkness and uncleanness and he delivers by coming into the world by being the light that intervenes into the darkness of this sin and dying world. Jesus himself becomes the light not only that deciphers what is true from a lie, what is good from not good, but by being the very life that supplies life to that which is otherwise dying.

Jesus is himself the light of the world the light that gives life. Amen.