FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

     How I dislike the days getting shorter again and the trees drop their leaves to become as lifeless for the winter.  The temperatures continue their slide downward,  and long pants are the rule once again.      Sports transitions from baseball to football, then hockey,  and soon the motorcycles and boats will be replaced by snowmobiles and plows.  
     Surely this sounds more like light to darkness,  but with the Reformation in October we must remember the dilemma and weight that sin held over that time, and the revelation to Luther and other reformers that man is justified by grace apart from the Law.  Martin Luther,  was foremost in bringing reformation to the masses and leading them out of the darkness of popery and into the light.  It was not until his first visit to Rome did Luther see the Papal Church in it's true light. Everywhere in Rome, scenes filled him with complete horror! He saw first hand that open and willfull sin existed amongst all classes of the clergy. Which led him to write "no one can imagine what sins and infamous actions are committed in Rome. They must be seen and heard to be believed." The church was in spiritual darkness.
     One day while climbing the steps known as "Pilate's staircase" on his knees, Luther heard what seemed to be a voice say to him, "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." (Romans 1:17). From that time he saw the fallacy of the Roman Catholic teaching of trusting in human works for salvation. His eyes were opened to the delusions of the Papal Church. And from then on Luther's connection with Rome became wider and wider, and his zeal for seeking and preaching the truth grew stronger and stronger.  The LIGHT had now truly been lit.
     Certainly we all have days that just drive us to despair and frustration.  Something might happen that disrupts our whole day, or life.  In a moment our lives can be changed forever .... a heart attack or stroke,  an accident,  or the meeting of a special someone for the first time,  the course of our lives changed.  Have you had a life-changing incident?  
     "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see".  Darkness, sin, death had captured mankind, but Jesus became sin for us that we might be set free, brought into the Light,  by faith in Christ alone.  "My chains are gone, I've been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me.  And like a flood His mercy reigns,  Unending love, amazing grace."  
     We can be driven to despair and desperation.  We have ups and downs in our life, similar to breathing, in AND out,  or with music with its ups and downs of the notes (not a monotone -- that would be monotonous!).  We get excited and have times of fun,  but then pain causes despair, and we look forward to good and happy days again.  
     We are not to live in darkness, but in hope and in the Light of Christ.  Satan would have us to place blame on God for the terrors in our life, but because of sin there will be suffering and death.  "Thanks be to God who has given us the victory through Christ Jesus, our Lord."  Let us be flickers of light amidst darkness, for "in Him is no darkness at all"!  (1 John 1: 5)
       GLYSDI,  P.B.