In the light: God, my neighbour, and I
Light is life! In the beginning God created light. And in His new creation He also started to send light. What kind of light? And what does that have to do with us? Some illuminating thoughts from a divine service by the Chief Apostle.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9: 2). This was the Bible text the Chief Apostle used in a divine service in Gemena (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on 9 December 2017.
Darkness is the image for remoteness from God, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said. And light is the symbol for eternal life. Even if the words of the prophet are hundreds of years old: the New Testament clearly distinguishes the “great light” as Jesus Christ. He came on earth to bring eternal life to mankind and to lead them into fellowship with God.
How this light works
This light has various different effects, the Chief Apostle explained.
- “It allows us to see God as He really is.” Not as a God who punishes and threatens, but as a God of love, who is close to mankind and wants to save them.
- “It allows us to see ourselves as we really are.” Not as we like to be seen, but that which is visible and invisible, our thoughts and our actions.
- “It allows us to see our neighbour in the light of God.” Not the weaknesses and differences, but a soul that is loved by Jesus and which He wants to save.
- “Jesus illuminates the way to God and warns us of dangers on the way.” For example, qualifying the gospel. Some choose what is convenient and pleasant, the Chief Apostle said, and push that which is awkward and uncomfortable aside.
Walking in the light
Now that we are aware of this, it is important that we walk as children of light. That means
- our faith and our actions must correspond. And this is not only a question of doing the right thing, the Chief Apostle said. “We also have to make sure that our thoughts are pure so that our motivation is pure.”
- seeing the neighbour in the light of Jesus. “Even in our enemies, let us recognise a soul which the Lord loves, and which He loves so much that He died for them.”
- being a light for our fellow human beings. In times of growing uncertainty and despair people need signs of hope. Let us proclaim the good news of the return of Jesus Christ, the Chief Apostle said, and added: “Let us prove that it is possible to live according to the gospel here and now.”
Whoever acts according to this will experience the blessing of God, Chief Apostle Schneider said. “We will not necessarily become the richest, the most beautiful, or the most powerful, but we will have peace in our hearts.” And it is these souls whom Jesus will take with Him when He returns.