I woke up early this morning with a cat walking on my back only to realize it’s still dark outside. I’m not even supposed to be awake at 6am. But yet here I am sitting like a zombie on the living room couch, trying to pull myself together. As I sit here I look out the window and think to myself, “wow the days are getting darker.”
And they are. It’s getting dark earlier and the sun is rising later. Our waking hours here in Canada are currently dwindling as we enter the autumn season. I actually enjoy the change. Getting up while it’s still dark outside makes me feel like I’m getting a head start to the day.
For some people talking about the shorter days always brings out the doom and gloom. There is a trend among believers to feel like “the end is near”. As we look at our world we can easily say, “the days are getting darker.” I hear it over and over…”our world is getting so bad that Christ has got to be coming back soon!” There is some truth in that statement but the problem is that when that is the lens we see and do life through, we are unable to live and love like Christ. We end up with a judgment view, expecting God to pour out his wrath at any moment. And we also end up with a “bring on the rapture” focus to our life, just hoping Jesus will get us out of here before sin really gets out of hand. It quickly skews our whole purpose and existence on this earth.
I love some of the hymns that focus to that end like I’ll Fly Away. To quote the song, “just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away.” I’m not sure what the writer was experiencing at the time those words were penned, but it quickly gets eaten up by our Days Are Getting Darker theology.
It’s important to be aware of the signs around us that point to Christ’s soon return, but it’s equally important to live with an awareness of the reality that things are not all going downhill in the world. Third world nations are getting clean drinking water through water filters being dispersed through both religious and civil charitable organization. The average life-span of humanity has gotten longer and longer. Technology has allowed us to stay close even though separated by land and oceans through video and audio streaming signals. The quality of life has steadily increased over the past couple hundred years. Medical care and education has continually increased and there are new scientific breakthroughs happening regularly. Yes, a lot of the world is in turmoil, we still face racism and wars in many parts of the world, but God is still good and there are many bright areas to life on earth.
We were not called to condemn the world, but to be servants of the world. Caretakers who through Christ bring light into dark places. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and make a judgment about the darkness around, but we were not called to sit on the sidelines. We are not called to judge either.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Let’s open up those gifts and begin to use them.
We are the answer for the darkness around us. We are the answer for world hunger. We are the answer for spiritual hunger. We are the answer to brokeness and pain. We are the answer for hopelessness and despair.
Now some of you might be experiencing a little theological ringing in your ear, because I didn’t say “Jesus is the answer”. Unfortunately for many of us that’s a copout we use regularly to defer our responsibility and calling to “BE” Jesus to this world. Yes Jesus IS the answer, but Jesus IN YOU is how the answer gets verbalized.
The days may be getting darker, but we have the opportunity to make a difference today. Hope is always at the forefront of the believer’s approach to life. If that is missing, darkness will always loom larger than the light.