Epiphany is the coming of light. This light is for all people (people groups, ethnicities) – so says Jesus. But it’s not just the light on the path TO Jesus for the first time, we Christ followers need it constantly.
I think there are two ways we need the light daily – sin and wisdom. Let’s think first about the light and our sin.
C. S. Lewis wrote about rats in the basement. They scatter when the hear you coming. So when you turn on the light you don’t see them. He used this metaphor in a discussion about our sinfulness.
Our constant battle. I need the light of Jesus to shine into my heart as I worship him (see Ps. 100 yesterday). The more I dwell on him and his light the more glaring my sins are, and if I’m really paying attention, the faster I’ll see them so I can confess and repent and keep going with him! I must be vigilant in the battle between the flesh and the spirit.
An alternative is intellectualizing away my sin and refuse to shine the light. The less I look, the less I want to look. It feels soooooo good to not see my sin. I can just go my merry way into the pit. I don’t need the light because I’m just fine, thank you very much.
I. Don’t. Think. So.
We need to remember the ongoing need for the light.
Imagine an old hurricane lantern inside which is a flame. This flame shines through the lamp’s glass.
Now imagine this lamp has been neglected and the glass is smoky, dusty and barely translucent. It is certainly not transparent so as the show the true brilliance of the light inside.
This is the condition of a Christ follower whose attitude toward sin is a bit too casual. The light is inside, but difficult to see and therefore a less effective source of light.
The glass door on the wood stove is another great example. The glass in the door gets grimy fast in the winter as it is used so much. I clean the glass every morning before lighting the first fire of the day. I want to see through the glass to check the fire.
Perhaps this is the very reason to take stock daily. Maybe Luther’s suggestion about daily meditating on the 10 Commandments is a pretty good idea after all.
Take a moment, take stock, run to the throne of Grace because forgiveness and help are there. There is light!