Monday Devotional: March 13, 2023
Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14 (CEB)
8 You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, so live your life as children of light. 9 Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. 10 Therefore, test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord, 11 and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal the truth about them. 12 It’s embarrassing to even talk about what certain people do in secret. 13 But everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light. 14 Everything that is revealed by the light is light. Therefore, it says, Wake up, sleeper! Get up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
When I was little, I was afraid of the dark. I imagined my bedroom was full of monsters just beyond the range of my vision. To make matters worse, there was a streetlight outside my window that would cast a light on my bedpost, creating the perfect image of a scary monster in my vivid imagination.
The writer of Ephesians uses the image of darkness and light to contrast life before and after being “in the Lord.” It turns out that if we stay in a dark environment long enough, our eyes begin to adjust to it. Maybe our expectations of ourselves slip a little. We often miss the mark of God’s call to love God and our neighbor, and we tell ourselves that it’s OK. Maybe we hide behind the notion that “it is what it is” because we cannot see anything more.
But those who are in the Lord are called to turn on the light and to live in the light of God’s love and truth. Even more than that, it says that in the Lord, we are light and are called to live as children of the light. The works of darkness that we thought were so satisfying are “unfruitful” and turn out to be mere shadows. Instead, those who live as light have fruit that is good and right and true. In this, we hear echoes of the fruit of the Spirit, like the list in Galatians 5:22-23.
Lent is the time when we throw open the curtains and let Christ’s light in. When we become believers, we are called to live in the light and to be light. At first, the light might hurt our eyes a bit, but our faults and failures and bedpost monsters disappear in its glow.
God, help me live in the light of Christ’s love. Amen.
By Mandy Sayers, The Upper Room Disciplines 2023, page 99.