Love & Light
By David LeMarr, Texas Representative
One of my favorite hobbies is to go mountain hiking.
My greatest accomplishment is a 12,000 footer, in New Mexico, MT Frasier.
It was so, so, SO cold and one of the hardest things I’ve done! But, the scariest and most challenging part is at night, because it’s impossible to see anything. We made it into a two day hike, so we camped about halfway to the summit and decided the next morning to make the rest of the trip up. So we woke up way before the sunrise so we could see it in all its beauty as we hiked.
As we were hiking to the summit, I kept hearing noises and rumblings all around me. For whatever reason, we didn't think to bring a flashlight, so all we had was our iPhones! I remember gripping my iPhone tight in my grasp and thinking, “I have no idea what I would do if I lost this light.”
I’ve been in this study of 1 John lately, and its interesting to note that the first description John gives us of God is that “God is light”.
I think a lot of us interpret, “God is light”, as an intrusion more than anything else. “God is light? Oh no, that means I’m going to be exposed!” We think of a swat team coming in, busting down our doors, and shining a bright light in our faces.
John, the disciple who claimed to be the best friend of Jesus, the one who would even lay against him at times, is introducing us to his best friend and in doing so, he's not only sharing who is BFF is, but also how his best friend acts.
Jesus is light and in Him is no darkness at all, which is to say that He is pure, he is constant, he is righteous, everything about him is pure and right. Which is really to say that God can be trusted. You can rely one this light. This light isn't here to hurt you. This is light is here to guide you. This light doesn't hurt. This light is perfect.
Reminds me of being up on that mountain. The only thing I had to hold onto was that light.
Now, let’s think about this, because we know that John, throughout his writings in the book of 1 John, is mainly talking to us about love. One out of three verses have the word “love” in it, or at least a form of the word “love”. Yet, in his first and main effort to introduce us to Jesus, the man who preached love, he describes him as LIGHT.
John is marrying the concepts of LIGHT and LOVE inside the person of his BFF, Jesus.
That’s interesting to me! That’s also, I think, a pretty rare thing, because we have a culture that is afraid of LIGHT but craves LOVE.
We love romantic movies, and the idea of love, and Valentines Day, and to have someone to be with, and all of that… But, we hate confrontation. We hate dealing with problems. Our culture screams, “Love me for who I am! Just don't contradict me and challenge me. Let’s just have love, let’s just not have light.”
But what is love without light?
God sees and knows all of you, and yet loves you completely. You will never met another person like this. I mean honestly, the more we get to know a person, sometimes, the more we don't like that person. We live in a culture now where we don't want to get to know people super well, because if we find those things that might be in them - then man, then we’d have to deal with it.
So lets just hangout, lets just be superficial, lets just hook up and just call it love.
Yet, here we are just introduced to a person who has perfect love. Pure love, void of manipulation, but full of disclosure and knows who we are.
I think Jesus is the most misunderstood person in history. We get so fearful of being exposed in this light. That God is out to get us and to find out all the terribleness that’s in us.
God already knows. He already sees it.
And He loves you still.
I think He’s a lot better than we think He is. I think He’s a lot kinder than we think He is. I think His wisdom is a lot more relevant to our situation than we think it is.
This is when it becomes real love, that you are fully known and still fully loved.