When I was growing up, we had a version of tag we would play in the dark. It was flashlight tag. We had a set of rules we had agreed on that evolved as we began to play this game. We played it every night. One person was “it”. That person had a flashlight that would be used to tag another person with the flashlight beam. That person then froze and could be freed if someone could sneak close enough and touch the frozen player. The person was not longer “it” if all players were simultaneously “frozen”. It was great fun because the darkness hid everyone’s activities. In regular tag, the fastest person is generally the winner. In our version everyone had the opportunity to use the darkness to their advantage.
19 This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
Light and dark is a recurrent theme in scripture. Jesus came into this world to bring light. This light then chases off the darkness.
Darkness is a place where evil has a foothold. This is true of both the physical world and the spiritual world. The physical world used to be a very dark place prior to electricity. It used to be very expensive to light the night. As a result, people used to live with much more night than we do. Darkness covers deeds and allows them to go unseen. We still experience apprehension when in the dark, even though we have much more light pollution. We fear walking around because those wishing to do evil can be lurking beyond the reach of our illumination waiting to attack. We prefer to be in lighted places where we can see any enemies that would appear.
Is there a parallel in the spiritual world? Sure. We can exist in the darkness or we can step into the light. The light is Jesus. He came so that we may see and be delivered. What this verse is saying, is that not everyone wants to be in the light. Some people, or maybe all of us at least some of the time, love the dark. We want the dark because we want our evil deeds. Now, I know the word evil carries a specific connotation and we don’t see ourselves as evil, or our deeds as evil. But, don’t we all struggle with some sins we want to keep? We hide them in the dark thinking they will not be seen. God sees everything. He is the one that matters.
It is time to move into the light. You may not be a believer. If not, there is no time better than the present to confess your sin, ask for forgiveness, and give your life to Him. For believers, there is not better time to ask God to show you what is hiding in the darkness, let the light expose it for what it is, confess it, and ask for forgiveness.