“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.” — 1 John 1:5-7
Wreath Directions: Light one purple candle on your advent wreath.
Read Aloud: 1 John 1:5-7 and 2:1-6
Suggested Carol: I Wonder as I Wander
It’s no fun to walk in the dark.
Most city neighborhoods have streetlights that come on at dusk and turn off when the sun rises. They’re usually scattered every 100 feet or so and help people find their driveways and know where to place the trashcans. But my neighborhood seems to have a severe lack of streetlights. Most people have an outside light they turn on at night but if you’re walking on the street you’re nearly out of luck. My street slants to one side and has deep ditches on that side. A few stone retaining walls get close to the street and every now and then you’ll come across an asphalt patch or square reflector. It can be dangerous walking the street at night!
First John paints a clear picture of what it means to walk in the darkness and to walk in the light. The apostle is nearing the end of his earthly life when he penned these words and his walk with the Lord is about to change dramatically. So now he’s offering his last words to his readers and John says, “the one who says he abides in Him (Christ) ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. And we, as His followers, should walk in the light, forsaking all darkness, just as He did. We should walk in our Master’s footsteps. Those who claim to be followers of Jesus need to truly follow Him with their lives and not be deceived. This is John’s message.
However, we all know that each one of us stumbles and falls at times. Thankfully we have an advocate in Jesus Christ who speaks before the Father in our defense, much like a defense attorney (1 John 2:1). His blood has saved us and His Father has forgiven us, so now His grace is upon us. Rest assured.
The key, I believe, to walking in the light is what we do after we stumble and fall. Do we remain in sin or do we come right back to the Father’s throne of grace? Do we let the sin fester and dig roots within us, or do we forsake it and move on in Christ?
Those who claim to be Christians but do things that are sinful (whether borderline or outright) are not walking in the light. As their brother or sister, it is important that you gently correct them (do not judge) and guide them back to the light. Jesus is the Light of the World. As Isaiah prophesied, He is the light of Israel. As John wrote in His gospel, He is the Light that enlightens the hearts of men. And He is the Light of the World that guides and illuminates. Are you walking in the Light?
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation. We give You thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with You in Your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”