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Mission Incarnate VII: The True Light Appears

God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. In the beginning, God’s first words were: “Let there be light.” And because the Word was with God, and because the Word was God, and because in the Word was life – because of these things, when God said “Let there be light,” there was light. Anything that exists exists because the Word has life within Himself, and because He shares His life with the world as the light of men.

Having created the world through the light, God’s mission was to fill the world with light, with Himself. To do that, He made things that could bear light, creatures that He could fill with His own shining glory. Sun, moon, stars, all of creation, but especially men and women, made in God’s image. Human beings bear the light by imaging or imitating God’s life. Just as God’s creativity multiplied light-bearers, man was made to multiply and fill the world with God’s light.

But immediately after God made man in His image, the darkness struck out at them, successfully tempting them to reject God’s glorious holiness, and great darkness entered the world through the fall of the light-bearers. The light grew dim, throwing out sparks like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, like Moses, David, and Isaiah, but never giving the world enough light to see God. But even so, the darkness did not overcome the light.

Then came the good news of John 1:9: The true light was coming into the world. How did He come? Verse 14 – The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. What was the result? Now you can see in the dark. What do you see? The glory of God in Jesus Christ! And not only do you see it, but you receive it. And so what is the result? Having seen and received the light, you are full of light, having become a child of God like Jesus (vs. 12) and having been filled with Jesus’ fullness (vs. 16).

Seeing and receiving Jesus transforms you into His image by filling you with His light. Here is what this means for you: See light and be light. In John 8:12, Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says: “You are the light of the world.” John 8 – see light. Matthew 5 – be light.

This is why a Christianity without mission is not real Christianity. The sight of Jesus is a transforming vision. The appearing of the true light changes you into a light-filled child of God, and what happens to children of God? Well, what happened to Jesus? He was sent into the world to reveal the glory of God to the world. That’s what it means to be light – to show God to the world through your actions, to be “lightful” and multiply, filling the earth with new children of light. The right to become children of God includes the right to share in our Elder Brother’s mission of being the light of the world.

The mission of God was to fill the world with light, and the coming of Jesus Christ restarted the mission by restoring true light into the world. Having been filled with His fullness, the Church is now the light of the world, and in our life together, we participate in seeing and being the light. In worship, we see the light, and God is made known to us. In community, we reflect and intensify the light, and in mission, we shine the light into the darkness.

The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory. So see the light: believe that Jesus is the Christ, and worship God through Jesus. And be the light – confess your sins, love your brothers and sisters, and love and obey God. The true light, which gives light to everyone, has come into the world, so that the world might see the glory of God. In Christ, you are the light of the world, and your mission is to get more glory for God. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Posted on Wednesday, January 07, 2015 by CJ Bowen