I have vague memories of a night in my early childhood that will occasionally come up in family gatherings. I was approximately 8 or 9 and my next youngest brother was around 6. It was during the summer and the spirit of the outdoors was running high in our veins. So what could be better than an overnight camping trip into the neighboring woods. Preparations were made and after dinner the long ¼ mile hike into the woods was completed. Next was the setting up of the tent as we awaited the coming darkness and hopefully a good night’s rest. That said, it’s funny how different the darkness is and feels when you are inside looking out verses actually being in the darkness. At this point my brother’s and my story take two entirely different directions. He recollects me bailing on the campsite and running home while my version of the story has it the other way around. Either way, the darkness was too much for two young boys. Never before did electricity and lights look so good!
Our passage today draws a similar comparison between an unbeliever and someone who has accepted Christ. Colossians 1:12-13 says, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”
Here the conversion that takes place when someone comes to Christ is described as being delivered from the power of darkness and translated into light. What a vivid description! To go from utter darkness where life doesn’t make sense, where one is bumbling their way through an often meaningless existence without any hope to instead a life in which we have the opportunity to see the way God intended for us. A life in which we are able to be led by our Father and have a certain understanding and knowledge of what is going on around us because of the light in which we live.
Thank God for this transformation! Some come from the darkness of a wicked lifestyle, others from a life of pride and self-absorption motivated by ego. Others from a life of adherence to a false religion while others leave the darkness of a “Christian” religion without truly knowing Christ. Whatever our background and whatever God used to bring us to the light- in the end it does not matter. As John Newton wrote, “I once was lost, but now I see!”