Comprehending the Light John 1:5

Praying over the city at The Salvation Army – Saint Paul Citadel Worship & Service Center.

October 22, 2018 · Saint Paul ·

This past weekend I attended STREET CHURCH with Communitas Twin Cities ( As you can see from the picture, it is basically on the street. Thankfully the Salvation Army allows us to use their parking lot, but in a few months when winter really hits, it will be very cold for us to serve a meal and help these folks get a few supplies so please pray that someone in the area open their doors to us. Please notice the Cathedral in the background. When I walked to my car to get a few supplies, I noticed it rising majestically above the trees. I love living and working so close to this beautiful structure. Even though I am not Catholic, something very Spiritual draws me to it.

This same day, my Bible app sent me this verse, John 1:5 KJV, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Man, oh man, did this verse, in this version, get me thinking. I’d read John 1 before and it speaks of who Christ is—His part in the Holy Trinity and how He was at the beginning. It speaks of Jesus as “The Word”, but normally at verse 5, it states the darkness could not overcome the light. In doing some research, I found that an alternate reading can say “not understood it” (NIV), but that is not standard in later translations. Interestingly, in reading the King James Version (KJV) of the first paragraph, this really is the only notable difference and this difference is powerful.

As I continue to let God work in my life, to allow a renewing of my mind (Romans 8:12), my perspective on a lot of things has changed. Priorities, relationships, commitments—everything, and as I think back, there were points in time I simply did not know what I did not know. Those unknown things now seem obvious, but when I “comprehended it not”, before I understood it, I was really in the dark.

To illustrate, I’ve always considered myself to be very open person to all races and cultures. I embrace these differences and defend people from racism—or so I thought until I took a philosophy class on RACE AND RACISM. This opened my eyes to things like microaggression. If you have no idea what that is, please look it up. Eye opening. I had also never really considered the impact of colonialism on the history of the world. How this had negatively impacted so many people and yet elevated Europeans, and that we still benefit by this today. That white privilege is real and until those of us in power (white people) understand that in greater numbers and work hard to break these barriers, nothing will really get better.

Let me see if I can illustrate this change in thinking, this dark shattering light, a little better. As one example, I’d always supported Black Lives Matter. For me, I never questioned the relevance of that movement, but as God moved me out of the dark, I saw that movement on a way BIGGER scope than just the justice system. It’s hard to put the full concept into words, but I’d even go to a professional ball game, realizing that my brothers and sisters of color were not represented in equal numbers, and I would be so frustrated with a system that does this that I didn’t even want to attend—I didn’t want to be part of it anymore.

I began speaking out about this and I soon realized that not everyone had this same light shining in their life. They were in a different space. A space I used to be in too—the darkness that comprehended it not.

Please, do not think that for one minute I am attempting to elevate myself as being in the “light” while you are not. That is not my intent at all. God moves each of us in different directions and opens our eyes to different things PROVIDED we are open to the light shining in, and this is just one example of how God shined light into a dark area of my life. There are others too, like how I handle anger, frustration, volunteer work, relationships–the list goes on and on. This work that God is doing isn’t done yet. There is more work for me and more for you too.

The openness, the willingness, that is on us. I’ve been at different stages in that too—my willingness. Let’s face it, change is hard, and we are NEVER done with this process, but…but…but…but…but I am so utterly grateful that I allowed God to shine this light into my life. I pray every day that He continue to mold and to use me, and to give me the insight to help shine that same light into the lives of others. I pray the same for you.

Dearest Heavenly Father, we want to be of maximum use to You and Your glory, and we can only do that if we allow you to shine the light of Your wisdom and Your understanding into our lives. We are here to fulfill Your purpose, so please mold us, change us, and renew our minds to focus on Your will for our lives and how we might be of maximum benefit to You and Your Kingdom. In Your Holy and Mighty name…

Bring those prayer requests forward. God is with you.

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