Night and Day


I Thessalonians 5:5 “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

The door to the basement of the house in which I grew up was located in a rather dark corner of our kitchen. The light switch for the basement was located inside that door above the stairs. It was an easy enough reach for an adult, but it was a bit of a stretch for a child, especially in the dark. It was responsible for any number of trips I made down the basement steps on my head instead of my feet. I can still remember the feeling of reaching for that switch in the dark, stepping forward to find it, and suddenly realizing there was nothing beneath my feet.

The problem with the dark isn’t the danger you know. It’s the danger you don’t know. It’s the danger you don’t even realize you are in because you can’t see it. Sometimes we say that people are afraid of the dark. Properly speaking, I suspect that they aren’t afraid of the dark so much as they are afraid of what’s in the dark, or what could be in the dark. Darkness leaves us with ignorance and uncertainty.

That’s a good picture of our spiritual condition without Jesus and his word. Some people move around in the darkness of unbelief. They live in an ongoing spiritual night completely unaware of the danger they are in. Maybe they feel a vague sense of fear and uncertainty. In either case they are ignorant of how little space stands between them and an eternity in hell. They are like I was as a child, walking through the doorway to our basement, reaching for the light switch, and then suddenly realizing that there was nothing but air beneath my feet.

Paul’s words to the Thessalonians are also true of us. “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”

Even a little light makes a big difference in a dark place. That same dark basement in our old house later became my home when my father finished a bedroom for my brother and me in it. As many years as I slept there, right up until I left for high school, we had a nightlight in that room. It had about the same candle power as a single Christmas tree light. We kept it on not so much because we were afraid, but because it saved our toes on midnight trips to the bathroom. That little bit of light even served as my reading lamp back then, though my parents warned me about straining my eyes.

We who believe in Jesus aren’t struggling to make out a word or straining to see where the bedpost ends in a dimly lit basement. He has brought us out into the full light of day. By faith in his word we know. We are certain. We are confident. We know who the real Savior is. We are certain that our sins are forgiven. We are confident of where we stand with God. We know that when Jesus comes we are going to heaven. We are sons of the light and sons of the day.

By God’s grace, you and I can also open the doors, roll up the shades, and flip the switches to let the light in for others. We don’t just live in the light. It lives in us, and it shines from us. Jesus is the light of the world, but so are we he tells us in the Sermon on the Mount. The light is part of our new nature.

That light of Jesus shining through us now won’t just be a flash in the pan. Daniel promises, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” May God keep our lights burning to light our own way as we light the way for others.

(Picture By MarSok - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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