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From Darkness to Light

Credit for this blog comes from Wycliffe Bible Translators. A brother who grew up at GCBC serves with them among a remote tribal people group. Please be in prayer for him and the mission community there as they seek to bring the light of God's Word to places that are often very spiritually dark.

This illustration from the mission field helps “shed light” on the next text being preached on this Sunday AM. The passage says God brought His children “in light. He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col 1:13). Some translations have “dominion / power of darkness,” which in context includes demonic powers (v. 15, 2:15, 18, etc.).

This is the story: Before Bible translators went to live among the Tboli of the Philippines, the Tboli believed in another life after death. They believed this life was connected to eternity by a bridge and on this bridge was an evil spirit. The evil spirit was there to try to push people off the bridge into the abyss.

The only way to overcome this spirit was to have light and the way to get light was to be burned. Bits of cotton dipped in kerosene were lighted and placed on the arms of small children to produce scars. The more scars you had, the brighter your light was and the more possible it was for you to make it across the bridge to the next life successfully.

This practice continued while the translators worked on the translation until finally the people read in John where Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” If you were to visit today you would see children of believing Tboli families playing happily unscarred. If you were to ask them why they no longer scar their children they would answer you, “Jesus is our light. Jesus bears the scars. Jesus will get us safely across the bridge.”

Colossians 1:13 shows how Jesus delivers us safely from the dark domain of sin and into the Son’s kingdom, where we’re beloved children with Him. Looking forward to this Lord’s Day message from this text and let’s look to our brothers and sisters around the world in prayer, and unreached peoples who need the light of Christ

An old hymn says:

There's a call comes ringing o'er the restless wave, "Send the light! Send the light"
There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save, Send the light! Send the light!

...Let us pray that grace may ev'rywhere abound, "Send the light! Send the light!"
And a Christ-like spirit ev'where be found, Send the light! Send the light!

Send the light, the blessed gospel light; Let it shine from shore to shore!