LIGHT AND DARKNESS
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light; they that dwell
in the land of the shadow of death; upon
them has the light shined” (Is. 9:2)
The Prophet Isaiah speaks of the future coming of as great light which will shine in the darkest places. Jesus Christ is the Light of the world and those who follow Him in truth do not walk in darkness but have the light of life. The Lord as prophesied was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and she gave birth to Him in Bethlehem of Judea.
Jesus established Himself as Head of His Church which is His body. Then after teaching His disciples, Christ sent them forth to preach the Gospel of salvation among the Jews, which was accepted by a few. Following this they preached to various non-Jews or Gentiles where the Gospel bore much fruit Sts. Peter and Paul composed much of written Scripture Matthew, Mark, Luke and John composed the four Gospels. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles and John wrote three epistles and the Book of Revelation. Paul wrote fourteen epistles; Peter wrote two epistles, James one and Jude one. Besides maintaining written tradition, Orthodoxy preserves the oral tradition well.
People who walk in darkness . . . they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death. Where there is the greatest darkness is where the light of the Messiah did shine. We are all familiar with physical light and darkness, and we us many forms of physical light to maneuver through physical darkness. We utrn on the lights in homes, cars, factories, streets stores, etc. Without the use of physical light physical darkness would overwhelm us. But there is another form of darkness which causes us to blindly walk in darkness and dwell in the shadow of death. It is known as moral darkness and can only be overcome with moral light. Moral darkness comes from the dark evil spirit, and moral light radiates from the bright moral sun Jesus Christ. Moral darkness causes us to behave badly before God and men. But when illumined by Christ and by following His words which brightly illumine our souls, we are enabled to see clearly, harm no one and are on the path to eternal life.
Every virtue including goodness, kindness, meekness honesty and justice, with the avoidance of all evil vices dwells in the hearts and minds of all who are illumined by Jesus Christ, the only Light of the world. Although many moral ideas have been taught in the world, only Christ is the true moral light and Teacher of the entire world, which enlightens the entire race of man.
Moral darkness results in moral blindness which leads men to deserved perdition for they fail to distinguish moral light from moral darkness and Jesus Christ from the Devil. Their freedom to choose bears with it a huge responsibility for every free moral person is responsible for the behavior which he chooses. Every word that came from the mouth of Jesus Christ is important to us, for each one is a living moral light. Let us choose, for example, the words “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat. 5:2) Being poor in spirit is not really a blessing, but its results are a great blessing. Realizing our lack of spirit causes us to be sorrowful and mourn, and the very next beatitude is: “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Seeing the realization of our own spiritual poverty arouses causes sorrow in our souls, then the spirit from God enriches us ringing calmness and peace. Every word of Christ is more valuable than anything that exists. His teaching and His Church gradually prepare us for the life that never ends, the eternal life of God.
It is imperative that we take advantage of this temporary present life for there will not be a second chance to dedicate “ourselves and one another and our whole lives to Christ our God.”It is in this life that we need to prepare and conduct our lives to becoming like God humble, meek kind and just and this opportunity comes but once in a lifetime. Today is the day of our salvation!