Week 31: The Twilight Zone

Today’s Text: John 1-2

Key Text: John 1:5

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

I’m a first generation TV watcher.

What I mean by that is that I was one of those kids, born in the late 1950’s, who grew up right after TV was invented. I can just barely recall what it was like to have nothing but a test pattern on the TV screen at certain times of the day or night. If you don’t know what a test pattern was…well, never mind.

Here’s the important part.

I grew up watching, and loving, some of the earliest TV shows made. One of them was called “The Twilight Zone.” I’m sure you have at least heard of that one.

It was a sometimes silly, sometimes very frightening, half hour of television. Sometimes, even as a young kid, it made me think about deep, dark things. Most of the time, it just frightened me, to the delight of my older brother, as I recall.

Darkness and light merged in odd ways in that half hour of television. Good and evil, side by side, along with magical things and aliens from outer space. Sometimes the darkest things explored were in man or woman’s own heart.

Now we’re getting somewhere. That sounds rather scriptural, don’t you think?

God and God’s love are pure light, spiritually speaking.

Evil is pure darkness, again, spiritually speaking.

John said it well: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never understood it.”

Or, as other translators have said, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome it.”

The darkness, you see, as frightening as it is, is limited.

It is limited by the most powerful force in the universe. In fact, it is limited by the Creator of the universe itself.

That’s very good news.

Sometimes, it can feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone. In fact, sometimes it can feel like the darkness might win.

But, as we might read in scripture, “Fear not!”

The darkness, ultimately, will never win.

It doesn’t even understand what the light is all about.

But we can. That’s how we find hope.

Ultimately, the “Twilight Zone” is nothing more than a TV show.

That helps me sleep a lot better at night.

How about you?


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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