If you've ever searched for a flashlight or candle in a power outage, you can understand why Paul feels the way he does about light. Darkness can be scary when you can't see where you're going and anything could be out there waiting in the shadows to gobble you up. It always feels good to turn on that little beam of light and finally see.
Let There Be Light
Right away, Paul tells us that light is good:
Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:8-14)
For Paul, believing in God and Jesus is like a sunny day. Everything is illuminated and bright and clear. He's like a shining beacon of goodness telling you which direction to head. And now Christians can see exactly where they're going. (Heaven, duh.)
The Heart of Darkness
Darkness, on the other hand, stinks:
- "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God." (Ephesians 4:18)
- "For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but[…] against the cosmic powers of this present darkness." (Ephesians 6:12)
- "He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son." (Colossians 1:13)
Oh man, that does not sound good. Darkness puts a cloud over everything. You can't see two feet in front of your face, so you're stumbling around trying to figure out exactly what's going on. Next time, stick with Jesus, guys. He brought the flashlights.