John 3:19-21 – This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
Six years ago, we moved into a new manse. Along the west side of the house is a row of fir trees that have grown quite tall and need to be topped. We decided that we would top one tree every year at Christmas, and use the top as a Christmas tree.
As last Christmas approached and passed, our house became filled with dozens upon dozens of spiders that had come in on the tree. Every couple of days, we would do a sweep of the house and come up with more than twenty new ones at a time. Last Friday, we took the tree outside, so the next day, we thought we'd do one final sweep, because I had noticed four or five. So I turned on a large halogen floor-standing lamp that shines up at the ceiling, in order to see them better. There, what did I behold in the bright light, but a lot of spider webs and a number of very tiny spiders I had not seen before. We then took the vacuum cleaner and went over the ceilings in most of the rooms in the house, shining this strong light up at each part in turn. We must have found more than a hundred tiny spiders, and there were many cobwebs that we had not seen without the powerful light.
This is a perfect illustration of the truth Jesus referred to in today's verses. Our lives may look okay on their own, but when we let Jesus, the light of the world, shine on our lives, we suddenly notice the spiritual "cobwebs" and black "spiders" we would have missed without comparing our lives to His standard of perfection. Some people resent having their sins and misdeeds exposed. But spiritual growth occurs when we accept the verdict that our lives are filled with darkness, and let the Holy Spirit begin or continue His cleaning and regenerating work.
Prayer: Lord, often we grow content with our sins, and are reluctant to change, but it was our sin that nailed You to the cross. Help us to see the darkness in our lives for what it is, in the light of Jesus, and make us willing to let You change us. In His name we pray. Amen.