It’s early in the morning and so, not to wake anyone, you try to make it to the rest room without the lights on. Darkness is not only scary at times, it is often hazardous in the physical world. In the spiritual world, darkness is always disastrous. In our first reading today, Jesus proclaims, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Paul would teach us that it was Jesus who “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). As you read continue to read in John chapter 8, you realize that His listeners could not, or would not, grasp the truth of what Jesus was saying about Himself. Truth can set man free, and it begins with believing in who Jesus claimed to be. He is the Light of the world.
Our second reading, found in John 10:1-10, begins by Jesus trying to illustrate that claim He is about to make concerning Himself; that is, that He is the good shepherd (v11). In the days of Jesus, a shepherd would come to a pen where his sheep, along with sheep belonging to other shepherds, were being held together. By the mere voice of the shepherd, his sheep would recognize him and follow that him. Not only that, but the shepherd, unlike the hireling, would sacrifice himself for his sheep’s wellbeing. Jesus, our good shepherd proclaimed boldly, “I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:15). Pulled from darkness and into the care of the only true Good Shepherd, Jesus states, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:29). Oh what confidence we can and should have in the work of Christ!
This brings us to our final reading found in 1st Peter 1:1-23, which has to do in part with hope. Someone once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” In a dark world, it is sometimes difficult to remain focused, holding tightly to the abundant life that Jesus has given to us (John 10:10). Still, Peter writes of “a living hope” (v3) “that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (v4). This hope is not rooted in my efforts; but rather, in His victory over death (v3). Victory is ours through Christ! Such victory needs our continuous attention, for the darkness lurks about us, wanting once again consume us (1st Peter 5:8). So, we seek to “rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1st Peter 1:13). With our hope in Him and anticipating the grace that will be revealed at His return, we seek to be like Him; that is, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1st Peter 1:16).
I am thankful for the selection of scriptures today, because they seek to draw my attention to where victory truly resides; that is, in the Light of the world, our true Good Shepherd, who is and will always be, our only true Hope. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name for giving us the gift of your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.”