Reflection: Paul continues the thought he began in his prayer for the Colossians, that they be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. They are secure in hope because of a changed status. They’ve been rescued from living under the rule of darkness itself, and gained citizenship in the kingdom of light, the kingdom of the Son that God loves.
The theme of light and darkness is deeply wound into the Bible. The opening pages resound with God’s declaration ‘let there be light’, at the moment of creation. From then darkness is associated with chaos, evil, and the rule of the evil one. The shroud of darkness covers the earth because of sin. And it is a kingdom of sorts. It enslaves human beings. It names a power that is over us and to which we have meekly submitted in our desire to be free of God.
And yet the kingdom of light ‘shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). Or as Isaiah said: ‘the people walking in darkness have seen a great light’ (Isaiah 9:2). God shines his light into the dark world and the darkness shrinks from his light. And those who come into the light are liberated from the power of darkness, because they receive forgiveness for their sins – which means that stranglehold of darkness is broken.
The Colossians now live in a different kingdom, released from the ignorance, chaos, and doom that had haunted them.
Prayer: Father of light, thank you that you conquer darkness in all its forms, and that you lead me into your kingdom of light, forgiving my sins and liberating me from bondage to evil. Help me to live as a citizen of the kingdom of light. Amen.