“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.” (NRSV)
The contrast between “light” and “darkness” can take on many meanings in the realm of faith. Here, Paul give us the context in verse 6 when he says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words….” Light is knowledge, understanding, clarity of thought about what is required to be in a right relationship with the Lord.
You have probably figured out by now that for me words are meaningless unless backed up by deeds or actions that give our words veracity and power. Our heartfelt expressions of compassion and kindness, given freely, generate the light of Christ in our world beaming through us. The light that shines forth from our acts of kindness and compassion expose those who use the words of Jesus and the “church” as a guise for personal gain. This is often accomplished by diminishing and demeaning whole categories of people “in Jesus name.” This is the source of the darkness we are called to expose.
In a world of eroded trust, empty words and promises given to persuade but never fulfilled, the only light bright enough to capture the attention of those around, much like Batman’s signal, is the light of God’s love expressed through deeds and actions of unsolicited kindness and heartfelt compassion.
These deeds may result in more people coming to our church. These deeds will result in a healthier church because it will be a church of deeply faithful, spiritually mature people who know the pure joy of loving God through loving others and loving their context of life that loving others creates.
Be the light, my friends! Be the light!