Physically we need sunlight; spiritually we need the light Jesus shines into our lives.
James D. Roecker
Lack of sunlight can be detrimental to your health. A lack of sunlight can lead to developing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Symptoms of SAD can include mood swings, anxiety, and sleep problems. The average age of onset of SAD is between 18 and 30 years of age.
The college years just might be when SAD can take hold of a person. An escalating problem can be caused due to winters in states that do not boast copious amounts of light. When the anxiety and stress of college life combines with anxiety caused by a lack of sunlight, the result can be described by the word darkness. Life would be better if this season of darkness would come to an end. Spring is a sign of good things to come—sunlight
People in Jesus’ time needed a sign too. Jesus said. “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation” (Luke 11:29,30). The sign was Jesus himself. He was the Light. By looking at Jesus and considering his preaching and his works, we see that he continues to be a light burning brightly for all to see.
However, we do not prefer the brightness of Jesus’ light. The sinfulness inside us all prefers, even favors, the darkness of sin. And the problem squarely lies on our shoulders. In a spiritual sense, our sin-stained eyes do not look to Jesus, the burning lamp, but instead continue groping about in the darkness. “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Such darkness has eternal consequences far more severe than SAD.
March 20 marks the first day of spring. It is a sign, a date on the calendar, that gives hope to those desperately needing to get into the sunlight. When we, with the eyes of faith, see Jesus, the true light, we are assured that the darkness of our sin is no more. Jesus’ sacrifice of his very life gives the light of forgiveness and life to the world, to you, and to me.
Jesus shares with us the importance of his light: “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you” (Luke 11:33-36).
College life can be a journey of darkness and sin, with temptation at every turn. Some collegians may not allow the message of salvation and forgiveness to penetrate and dispel the darkness of their souls. May the Lord move them and us to appreciate that God himself, through his Holy Spirt, illumines our souls and preserves the faith in our hearts.
James Roecker, pastor at Divine Word, Plover, Wisconsin, does campus ministry work at UW–Stevens Point, Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
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Author: James D. Roecker
Volume 105, Number 3
Issue: March 2018
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