Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 12:17
Bible Book: Ephesians / Efesiers
Verse: 8 – 14
Our Scripture reading forms part of a strong and urgent admonition to “lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (4:1 RSV; compare 4:17 and 5:1-2). After numerous warnings against sinful behaviour – almost every time matched with a positive example – Paul now elucidates his argument with the example of light and darkness.
Darkness represents the lives of Paul’s readers before they came to believe in Jesus Christ and light represents their lives now that they believe and know the Lord. “Walk as children of light!” is his summons in 5:8 (RSV).
There should be no question that Christ came into this world, died on the cross and rose again to save us from eternal darkness. Christ is the light and in Him we find life and light. However, this does not take away that many Christians experience clouds of darkness in and over their lives. We have been saved from darkness, we have found the light in Christ, but that does not mean that every corner and aspect of our lives are without shadows.
When we have acknowledged this, the question is: What does Paul’s call in 5:11 to expose the works of darkness (cf RSV) mean?
It is important to remember that Paul’s instructions on the life in Christ commence at 4:1, so we have to read 5:11 alongside 4:32, where Paul clearly states: “and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (RSV). Remember how Jesus reached out to people whose lives were under shadows of various kinds. Therefore, to “expose the works of darkness”, implies that Christians must lovingly speak out for what is true and right. This is what Paul has been doing in his letter from 4:1 to 5:20.
HIV and Aids have a distinctive way of bringing dark clouds into people’s lives, as well as over communities. Our challenge is to be light-bearers who bear fruit according to 5:9 – “in all that is good and right and true” (RSV) as well as in doing what is pleasing to the Lord (cf 5:10).
To think about (or discuss): Do you know of an organisation that is actively bringing light into the lives of people living in the shadows of HIV and Aids? What can you do to support them? (If you do not know of such an organisation you can search for one on our projects database.
Author: N du Toit (Ds)