Ephesians 5:8-9

Saturday, March 25
Rev. Frank Senn

Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of the light – for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.

We know what it’s like to open the shades in the morning and let in the blinding sunlight that causes us to rub our eyes and stumble around until we get our bearings. This is what Lent can be like. It is a time to prepare for Baptism or to renew our Baptism. In the Eastern Churches, Baptism was also called enlightenment. Candidates for Baptism, who were removed from the darkness of the pagan world, were brought stumbling into the Light of Christ. And Christians who had fallen away were exhorted to “live as children of the light.”

“Light” stands for the good life lived in obedience to the teachings of God, “darkness” for its opposite. The source of our “enlightenment” is Christ, the light of God who has come into the world. Before our enlightenment our minds were darkened. We can stumble back into it. Lent calls for stumbling back into the light of Christ.

Our enlightenment is manifested in our moral behavior. A trio of virtues—doing good, acting justly, being loyal (“yours truly”)—is contrasted with a trio of vices earlier in this chapter – being a fornicator, impure, greedy (that is, an idolater) (5:3, 5). The ancient Christians had been removed from a pagan world when enlightened by the light of Christ, and it should show. By our behavior we are witnesses to our enlightenment in our interactions with others and in our personal integrity.

Lord God, by the Spirit that enlightens all who are called by Baptism into Christ to live as children of the light, enable us during this Lent to do good works, to engage in just actions, and to be reliable disciples, to the honor and glory of your Holy Name; through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world. Amen.

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