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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

In All Things, Light!

The Light of Jesus.

Getting Around in Culture (7)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light… Ephesians 5.8

Simple, everyday tasks
How can we become more mindful of our cultural practices and engagements, so that something about the way we “do culture” will refract a bit of God’s glory into the lives of those around us?

As he lay dying of pneumonia, Lt. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was comforted by his faith in the Lord, and often meditated aloud on matters of faith and life. At one point he recalled a minister he had known who made a point of consciously reminding himself of the many ways he experienced the steadfast love of the Lord and His faithfulness every day. This minister tied His Kingdom benefits and duties to simple, mundane tasks of getting around in culture.

As this pastor washed himself in the morning, he would thank the Lord for the cleansing power of the Gospel. As he dressed, he prayed that God would clothe him with the righteousness of Christ. During meals he would consciously think of the many ways the Lord feeds us by His Word and make it a point to converse about them.

In many other ways this pastor sought to know and rejoice in the Presence of the Lord in all his activities. He made a deep impression on the people around him for the earnestness with which he reminded himself and others of the everyday reality of the Kingdom of God. Here was a man who made the most of every opportunity to enjoy and express his status as a child of the light.

Glory in the details
Something like this needs to become the practice of every believer who desires to bring out the glory of God in the details of everyday life and culture.

Keeping in mind that culture is one of the arenas in which God is pleased to dwell, and through which He desires to make His glory known to the world, the believer will want to make the most of every opportunity to use everyday culture as a reminder of our eternal citizenship and a pointer to the Kingdom and glory of God.

This is what it means to walk as a child of the Light, to let the Light of Christ come through in every aspect of our lives, so that, through all the daily details of life we are making the knowledge of God and His glory a matter of focus.

Now for this to become our practice, we shall have to pray daily and think carefully about the details of daily life. We want the Light of God to shine in all our cultural activities—all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities; our conversations, manners, and dress; the consistency, excellence, and thoroughness of our work; the consideration we show to others; all our small gestures, timely words, and routine activities. If, indeed, we are children of the Light, then it’s not too much to expect that the Light of Christ will shine through us as we take our everyday culture captive for the Lord.

Shining the Light
This is not as hard as it might sound; it’s a matter of diligent study, conscious reflection, careful planning, and persistent monitoring of our activities, asking ourselves in all we do, “Will this speak to others of the character and purposes of God?”

The more conscientious we become about how we get along in culture, and the more careful we are to seek the pleasure of God in all our cultural activities, the greater will be the likelihood that our use of culture will stand out in some way with the people around us. Not in blaring lights or dazzling flashes of glory, but in the constant and warm glow of thoughtfulness, consideration, patience, peace, and a desire to please. Culture in any form is not something to consume on ourselves. It is God’s gift to equip us for good works that shine the light of beauty, goodness, and truth into our light-starved world.

We do not live in cultural darkness; whatever we do, let us do it as the children of Light. Christ is filling the world with Himself, and He is doing this through the “all things” of our daily lives.

Let’s make it our goal to let the Light of Christ shine through in all our everyday cultural activities.

For reflection
1. What does Paul mean by saying that believers are “children of Light”? How does that differ from being a child of the darkness?

2. Meditate on 1 John 2.8. How have you seen this to be true in your own life?

3. Suggest some things you might do to help make sure that in whatever you do the Light of Christ shines brighter each day:

Next steps—Preparation: Outline a brief program to help you begin being more “culturally conscious and Kingdom-oriented” during each day. Commit your plan to the Lord in prayer, then begin to work your plan daily, letting the Light of Jesus shine through in all you do.

T. M. Moore

Two books on culture are available to accompany this series on “A Christian Approach to Culture.” Christians on the Front Lines of the Culture Wars shows how important it is that we consider culture as a way of bringing glory to God. Order your copy by clicking here. Redeeming Pop Culture examines the nature of pop culture and some ways we can make good use of it for God’s glory. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for ReVision comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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