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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Susan Hanson

Tuesday, November 24

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.
—John 3:19-21

A number of movies in recent years have been built on the premise that what appears to be true is not. The Truman Show, Wag the Dog, Boys Don't Cry—different as they are, characters in each of these films rely on deception to achieve some end. At the same time, what we find entertaining on the screen, we find increasingly troubling in public life.

We yearn to know the truth—about the wars we fight, about the economy, about a host of other things—but we know that the convenient lie is often more palatable and a lot less likely to stir things up.

Frequently to the chagrin of his followers, truth was Jesus' forte. Indeed, the image that is most often associated with him is light—he is referred to as "a light for revelation to the gentiles," as one who came "to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

But light has its drawbacks. For example, the town that looks quaint and inviting at sunset may show itself to be tired and neglected at noon. The aging movie star who appears sultry and sensual in shadow may look haggard and spent in the light. The illusion, in such cases, is far more pleasant than fact.

So why should we welcome this "light"? Not because we have no blemishes to hide, and not because we're exempt from the judgment of God. We can receive the light that is Christ with gladness because we can be confident that his is a truth infused with the grace that brings life.

O God, let me not fear your judgment, but welcome it as a cleansing and healing balm for my soul.

These Signposts were originally published on in 2005.