How dark is dark?

by DanWolgemuth on September 22, 2023

Perhaps, like me, you’ve noticed how much “space” is being given in Christian dialogue around the darkness of our culture. In print. In social media. On podcasts. Many of us have become experts in describing just how dark the darkness is.

It was two years ago that Mary and I toured the Quincy Mine in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our tour took us hundreds of feet below the surface of the Earth. At one point, our guide instructed all of us to extinguish the lights that we had taken with us.

It was suffocatingly dark. Moments passed, and there was no acclimation. Just blindness.

Then, a single stroke of a match, and light. Fledgling, but real. Beautiful, even powerful in its simplicity. To the miners of old, a small gas lantern on the bill of their hat was what provided clarity. Direction. Focus.

Far too many of us have become experts at defining the darkness. We fill our head, heart and mouth with a widening lexicon of terms to define the depth of this darkness.

God sent Jesus, not to explain or defend the darkness but to defy it. He came to prove that His light was inextinguishable. He invited us to take His light into the bleakest, blackest, and most unrelenting environments. Not in defeat, but victory.

In the millennium before Jesus, God called Esther. God empowered Daniel. And God elevated Joseph to positions of prominence. In dark places. With pervasive evil.

God doesn’t avoid the darkness. He invades it.

With light. With Jesus. With us.

Light is beautiful. It’s rich in revelation.

Fueled by the inexhaustible resources of God’s Word, the light informs every step we take. Not because we have a better understanding of the darkness, but because we know the igniter of light.

“The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
(John 1:5, NLT)

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine!” (Matthew 5:14-15, MSG)


Jesus called us to be bringers of light, not definers of darkness.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4, ESV)

Yes… God saw then, and He sees now, that the light is good.

Be what God called you to be… be what Jesus defined you as… light in the darkness!

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