Journey from darkness to light is long, difficultPublished 4:50pm Tuesday, February 15, 2011
By GEORGE HOLLIS / Guest Columnist
This past Sunday the weekly scripture readings for Christians all over the world focused on the familiar Isaiah / Matthew combination.
Isaiah, written in about 740 BC, has more prophecy about Jesus Christ than any book in the Old Testament.
The Gospel of Matthew was written in about 60 AD and has more fulfillment of prophecy by Christ than any other book in the New Testament.
Isaiah writes in Isaiah 9:2, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined.”
Matthew writes in Matthew 4:16, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death, light has dawned.”
Both are speaking of Jesus Christ. We, all people, are born into this region of “darkness” or “shadow of death.” As some say, we all go through the various phases of life and then we die. Has Christ done something to change this?
By all means, Christ came to show us that this way of viewing life is wrong.
Christ came with an extraordinary message that the end of this life is the beginning of the real life we are all called to.
This life is just a precursor to an indescribable life in another place.
The cost of existence in this beautiful place is the acceptance of loving-kindness to other people in this world; the acceptance of selfless love toward all other people.
This is how Jesus loves us. And, this is how we can love others now and in the next phase of life.
To go from the “darkness” of self-love to the light of selfless love toward others is long and difficult. But together, in the body of Christ, we will make it.
The Rev. George Hollis is pastor of Cahaba Valley Church. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.