Light it Up
Children lost parents. Girlfriends lost boyfriends. A pregnant mom was shot three times, (once in the abdomen) but survived along with the infant in her womb, only to find out that her six-year old daughter died. One woman who narrowly escaped a shooting in Toronto just months earlier was killed. Veterans, students, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, friends died in the Auroa, Colorado mass murder nearly a week ago. James Holmes, the suspect, killed twelve people and left fifty-eight wounded. This tragedy along with the developments in the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State reminds me that we live in a dark world that is full of dark people.
As Christian’s how are we to respond? Surely we should pray for the victims and their families. Surely we should feel sad, mourning and grieving at the broken world that we live in. Surely we should long for the return of our King and that great day where there is no more sexual abuse, mass murders, sin, mourning or death. These are most appropriate, but there is a counter-intuitive response that is desperately needed. When you see such darkness, the most natural thing to do is to become more cautious and think more strategically about remaining safe in this dark world. The natural desire is to hide from the dark. This cannot be our response. Why? Because we are in relationship with The Light of the world (Jn.8:12). We cannot retreat and hide from the darkness. We must move towards it. We may never know what motivated James Holmes to murder these precious people made in the very Image of God, but what we do know is what caused this crime: a dark, blind, dead, rebellious heart that obeyed the master of such hearts, Satan (Eph. 2:1-3). And we also know that we once had the same kind of heart. We were dead in our sins, with a wickedly dark heart until 2 Corinthians 4:6 became our testimony: “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Light chases away darkness. The light of the gospel lit up our dark hearts. Therefore as those who have been lit up by the gospel, we must go light up the dark world with the gospel. Yes we must be wise, yes we must pray and grieve, but we our King said we are the light of the world (Mt. 5:14), therefore we must move toward the darkness and light it up by proclaiming the glorious gospel. This is the only hope for a dark, lost and dying world.
How do we do that at Imago Dei? We plant churches. We evangelize the world. We aid the poor and the sick. We care for the orphan and oppressed. And we equip leaders. This is our P.E.A.C.E plan. This is how we light it up.
Thursday night, August 23rd, we will spend some time together talking about Evangelizing the world and specifically the city God has called us to. I hope you will join us as we search the Scriptures together to see how we can invade the darkness and #lightitup.
– Clint Darst