God of the Gray
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12 NIV
In my teens and early twenties, my greatest hobby was photography. I liked color photos, okay, but the colors never seemed quite real; they were either too muted or too brash. I would spend hours with my Uncle Jerry, a better than average photographer himself, looking at the black and white photos of Ansel Adams. There was something in the contrast and shading of these works of art that spoke to me. I wish there were a more expressive term for them than “black and white,” the beauty is found not only in contrast but also in the gray depth.
When Jesus came into the world, he brought the long-awaited light into a world of darkness. His gospel offered not only salvation from our sinfulness but openly exposed those things lying in the dark. The light exposed our blatant sin and our failure to love God and each other as we should. A message that turned the world on its head, shifting our focus away from this earth’s selfishness towards the eternal.
When we look at our broken world, not everything, though, is black and white. Yes, there is the pure light of God brought by Christ, and there is the darkness of evil, but most of our lives lay somewhere in the gray. We have not yet attained the pure light, but we are trying to live Godly lives. Mostly we vacillate on the scale between pure light and the absence of light. The good news of Christ’s message is that His light always conquers darkness. God is with us, even in the gray. In those times, when we feel ourselves sinking, we can still espy Christ’s light shining. It may not be brilliant to us, but it is there reaching out to us in the darkness. It is in that light that we find our hope.
Precious and loving God, we give you thanks for the good news your Son brought into this world. We acknowledge we do not leave in your pure light, but we have hope for that coming day. Please help us not grow discouraged in the waiting and help us spread the message of Christ’s light to others. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.