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"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof... And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there."
What is darkness? It is merely the absence of light. What is cold? It is simply the absence of heat.
Did you ever stop and contemplate the fact that without the sun, we would have nothing? It is truly thought provoking what the sun does for us! If we have a room of light, we cannot introduce darkness simply by opening a box filled with it. As soon as the box of darkness is opened, it is flooded with light. Darkness flees in the face of light. What happens when we introduce the sun to a window in a cold room in winter? We have a source of heat. Cold will disappear. Stand outside on a cold January or February day and expose yourself to the sun but stay out of the wind, what happens? There is no question as to whether the sun has more power than the cold! We cannot cool a warm room long term by introducing a cube of ice. Ice will melt in the presence of heat, so we see that cold dissipates in the presence of heat.
Almost all energy that we use originates from the power of the sun. In essence, we are solar powered. All plant life requires light and heat units or else they could not grow. If we had no plants, what would we live on. Without plants, animals would have no food. The herbivores would die, which would starve off the carnivores. Us humans would have no food so we would also starve.
What happens when we take away direct sunshine during our long, dreary winter weeks? We become irritable and lethargic. It is amazing what one day of beautiful sunshine does to us after this period of clouds. Our mood is partly regulated by the natural sun exposure that we get. This in itself is an energy booster.
We say that our power plants and vehicles are driven by fossil fuels. What exactly are fossil fuels? According to science, they are simply plants and animal life that were buried by some natural occurring event and subjected to extreme heat and pressure. Creation believers feel that this happened during the Great Flood of Noah's day. The deluge of water that came from the sky and also sprung from the underground springs, quickly covered all these living organisms and buried them so quickly that normal decomposition was not possible. This created what we know as natural gas, coal, oil, and all the fuels that result from the refining of crude oil. We recognize that without the sun, these energy sources would never have come into being. The only power plants that are not operated by these fuel sources are nuclear power and hydro-power plants. So all these unsightly power lines criss-crossing America are in essence being fueled by the sun from centuries ago.
You may say that hydro-plants are not powered by the sun. Are we sure? If the sun were not to shine, where would our water come from? The sun evaporates the water in low lying areas, which condenses as clouds in the sky. When the conditions are right, these clouds, heavy with water, pour down as rain in the higher elevations. This water gives life sustaining moisture to the crops and then rushes down the mountains and hillsides forming streams and rivers. The rivers are dammed up to drive turbines and generate electric. This water however, does not stop at the power plant, it continues to flow down stream to lower elevations. Is there any man-made invention that could effectively move this water uphill again? No! It requires the work of the sun to again work in it's quiet powerful force to do this.
This same method also cools our bodies during the heat of the summer. It is only through the miraculous design of sweat evaporating off of our bodies that we can stay cool and survive the heat.
Laying aside the food factor of plant life, what else do we depend on the sun for? If it were not for plants what would we breathe? The waste from our breathing is carbon dioxide. What processes this back to oxygen so that we can breathe? Plant life reconverts carbon dioxide into oxygen, this all being powered with energy from the sun.
So we can conclude that taking the sun out of our life is taking our life from us. Regardless of where we look to, our life is driven by the sun. Our transportation, power sources, food, mental well-being, and pleasure all are derived in some way or another from this miracle creation called the sun. Us Amish and Mennonites are Divine Creation believers. So it is understandable that the first verses of the Bible address eradicating darkness.
Genesis 1:2-4, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
Without light, God could not proceed to further create a sustainable earth.
In the same manner that the sun gives life to the physical Earth, we believe that the Son of God gives us life sustaining power to live. Were it not for the Son of God, Jesus Christ, what would we have to live for? He gives us purpose and motivation to endure the trials of this life. He alone gives us the ability to find pleasure in our everyday life. We can know that at the end of our life we have eternity to look forward to. An eternal life of praise and worship to our Lord and Maker. As noted in the start, Heaven requires no sun at all because God Himself will lighten it with his Glory.
We may ask, what is evil? It is simply the absence of good. Where good is in control, evil will flee! In Matthew 22:35-40, a lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is. Following is the short dialog that ensued. "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Let me ask this question, if everybody practiced this statement, would there be any evil? All other laws would be unnecessary if these two courtesies were lived. There would be no violence, crime, hurt feelings, lawsuits, etc.. It would totally disarm all radical groups that are determined to have no tolerance for other groups that do not believe as they do.
I have often wondered why so many groups try to eliminate anyone that does not believe as they do. I know, in the past and also today, "Christians" were guilty of breaking these commandments. The Crusades were a complete failure to follow the teachings of Christ. Bloody murder is not the answer to the problems on Earth. It is simply love toward each other that overcomes the evil that abounds. However love must be mutual. Why, may I ask, does America need to be tolerant of Islam, Atheism, gay rights, and a host of other "rights", yet a Christian may not even show a sign of our religion in many school districts? Is this not the direct result of the absence of good and love?
I write this as a challenge to us all, would we not live in a better world if we all tried to coexist in love? Can we change this by starting in our own neighborhood?
This is one area that we as Anabaptist have historically taken a strong stand on. We try to maintain a nonresistant life. In the past we have had to leave our farms and homes to adhere to this conviction. We are very thankful that America has granted us the freedom to practice this interpretation of Jesus' teaching.
In Luke 3:14 the following dialog occurred. "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."
If they truly followed this advice, did they have a job left? It is also ironic that Jesus followed with being satisfied with our wages. It shows us that this love for each other should permeate our entire life.
I have just recently read the account of a German Baptist man that lived during the Civil War era. He was a church leader in Virginia. He was also a man well acquainted with the medical healing of his day. The locals used him as a doctor.
As the battles literally raged around him, he stayed free of fighting. Unfortunately his church work led him to cross the Mason Dixon line to hold church meetings across the now divided United States of America. He was accused by neighbors of being a Union sympathizer, which was not true. He had war casualty victims at his door constantly and he showed true love and compassion to both sides. He gave medical aid to any person that needed it regardless of their political affiliation. His goal was to show them the love of God and also witness verbally to all about what God had done for him. All that this man, John Kline, was doing was trying to dissipate this spiritual darkness by exposing the light of Jesus' love to these needy people. There were some evil natured beings that could not tolerate this. One dark night on his way home from Indiana for a nationwide church meeting he was accosted. He was 4 miles from home when they stopped him. Obviously it must have been "neighbors". Who else would have known what his schedules were?
They shot him off of his horse and then finished it off with point blank shots to the chest. What was his crime? Helping hurting people and showing them the love of God! These cold blooded killers should have paused to think. Suppose a Union sniper would have shot them off of their horse in the presence of this man John, what would he have done? They knew as well as anybody that he would have put his life on the line to help them. Yet, they could not accept this. An innocent person had to die because of the twisted evil intentions of a cold heartless opinion.
Let us make sure that we personally don't do this figuratively today. Many of us will not do it literally. But, do our actions and words toward others convey the same intentions?
Remember, in the face of Light and Love, evil will be overcome. Darkness will flee. Make it a part of your life today and let's see where we can make a difference.