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Many years ago I sat in a science class. The teacher explained that thermometers measure heat. They do not measure cold. I know, that seems strange in the middle of winter when it is cold outside. But the teacher was being precise and correct. Thermometers measure heat. From a scientific viewpoint only heat is measured. Even -25 degrees Fahrenheit is a measure of heat, but not much. We call the relative absence of heat “cold.”
Light and darkness are similar. We don’t really sense darkness. We sense the absence of light. You can add increasing amounts of light to something. But you can’t add darkness. You can only remove light.
This reminds me of John’s message in 1 John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (NIV)
The passage uses the figure of light to refer to the purity and holiness of God. He is the positive good. Jesus himself is the light of the world. He claimed that on more than one occasion. In his gospel, John said this about Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4-5 NIV)
If we want a relationship with God, we must begin by understanding that God is absolutely pure and good. No evil exists in him. God is light.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.