TO CHEW ON: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6,7
Our reading talks about two ways to live: “Walk in darkness” and “walk in light.” These are metaphors. What do they mean?
The Zondervan Study Bible notes define both (emphases added):
To “walk in darkness” denotes a life characterized by wickedness and ignorance and an unwillingness to be open toward God and his revelation in Christ—lest one’s sinful behaviour be exposed.”
John actually quotes Jesus Himself on what walking in darkness is about:
“‘For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed’” - John 3:19.Here’s the old secrecy over disobedience cropping up again that began way back in the Genesis garden (Genesis 3:8-10).
To “walk in light” denotes a life characterized by truth and holiness and a willingness to be open to God and his revelation, resulting in fellowship with one another and with God.”
How do we, in our everyday lives, walk in light?
A start, I believe is to be open with God—to let Him search us through the Bible and in prayer and keep no secrets from Him. We can express our doubts, fears, issues, and questions to Him. When He shows us attitudes to change and exposes the times we’ve sinned, we acknowledge, confess, repent, make restitution (or whatever is required). We let Him shine light into the farthest, darkest recesses of our hearts to show us to ourselves so we can renounce all darkness and live in light. (I’m thinking this may take years as, in my experience, God deals with us in layers to get to core of our onion hearts.)
A wonderful side benefit of living in light is how it smooths our relationships with fellow-Christians: “… we have fellowship with one another…”
PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to walk in light by being completely open and honest with You. Amen.
MORE: Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Today the church celebrates the Feast of John who wrote the Gospel of John, the three epistles 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelation.
Here is the prayer that begins the liturgy for the day:
"Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.