by Phil Ashey, American Anglican Council:
[…] Darkness is the place where God’s light does not shine. As Paul notes, when people no longer glorify God or thank Him, he has the power to withdraw his presence and allow the flood of darkness to come in. The result of darkened hearts and minds is described with a list which begins with “sexual impurity for the degrading of our bodies” (1:24). Think of ‘Bad Guy’, the number 1 hit today. Or how about the headline from Tuesday about how “drag queens” with criminal records for prostitution and sexual assault of children have been allowed to host “story hour” for children at public libraries in Austin and Houston TX—a practice which a clinical worker who has worked with over 4,000 serial predators has described as “a perfect grooming program” for the sexual assault of children.
But Paul’s list doesn’t end with sexual impurity. That’s only the beginning. Darkened hearts and minds become filled “with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity…envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice…” (see Rom. 1:29-32)Think of the malice behind the mass murders in El Paso. Or the unending strife in our public discourse, where darkness of speech, malice and gridlock have replaced civility.
It’s dark. Very dark.
During the summer, one of my daughters spent three weeks in South Africa helping children through art therapy as part of her post-graduate studies. She saw and felt deeply the effects of relentless poverty, hunger and unemployment in the townships, as well as the squalid condition in which the children lived. She felt the hopelessness around her, and it broke her heart. On a break, she had the opportunity to explore a cave. During the tour, she came to a place where there was an opening and a shaft of light shone through the pitch-black darkness. In that light there was no darkness and she could see the cave as it really was. In that moment Christ reminded her that he is the light who shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not and cannot overcome it. (John 1:5-9).