Friday, January 11, 2008

John's unwelcome light

In response to my complaints against the moral corruption of our culture and my own abysmal failures, someone recently remarked (not via a blog comment) that my 'dark mood' reminded her of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness.

John the Baptist Leaving aside the nonsense of comparing my yelpings with the Baptist's prophetic fierceness, I was puzzled by the adjective 'dark'. Surely John was the opposite - a strong beacon of light in the midst of murky darkness. Of course, sometimes light is an unwelcome thing. The window that, at night, appears clean shows its hidden dirt when the morning sun hits it. I may prefer the illusion of darkness, and regret the light, which seems to make the window dirty. Likewise, John's light was unwelcome, exposing men's hidden, secret sins.

We like John pointing us toward Jesus, but we don't like him pointing out our sins; that seems 'dark'. The question is: can we have it both ways? Can John point us to Jesus without also pointing out our sins and our absolute need of a Savior? The present generation seems to demand this very thing... Tell me about the Good Shepherd, but don't tell me I'm a lost sheep. Tell me about God's infinite love, but not of his hatred for sin. Talk to me softly of pardon, healing, and comfort, but don't mention my need for repentance.

John, true beacon of light, doesn't offer such slick illusions. He offers light, which exposes our sins and points us toward Jesus the Savior.

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