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Light in the Dark

The lights shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it..

– John 1.5

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

– John 8.12

There I was, in the middle of the Barnes and Noble in South Austin, a tear in my eye. I stood holding a hard cover copy of the collected sermons of a Christian hero of mine, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and on the inside cover was John 1.5, which so perfectly sums up the life of faith which Bonhoeffer lived. Never once did Bonhoeffer let the surrounding darkness overcome him. Numerous were the times that he could have fled to safety and likely have lived to a ripe old age. At one point, he did in fact manage to escape the America for a teaching position at Union Theological Seminary in order to avoid being drafted into the Nazi German Army. This trip was only fated to last a month, however, as his heart grew increasingly restless by the day being away from the family, friends, and countrymen in need whom he so loved. He returned to Nazi Germany, and by so doing focused the path of life squarely towards the end he ultimately met. Letters written to his soul friend, Eberhard Bethge, clearly show that he knew how his life would end, hard details aside. He lived his life with a prophetic sense that it would certainly lead to a seemingly premature death, but through none of this did he ever let the light be overcome by the unquestionable darkness. He lived a life of light, and was not overcome by the darkness.

For those of us who grew up in and around the church, we hear things such as “Jesus is the light of the world” and we let it wash over us without allowing it to change us. Such was my realization as I drove home from the Barnes and Noble: Jesus is the light of the world, and the light shines through the darkness, never being overcome by it. I am less than proud to admit that at almost 26 years of age, this was the first time this concept had ever found a place to land on my heart. He is the light of the world, and the light shines through the dark.

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