Eighty-three—The Light of Life

Eighty-three—The Light of Life

Fred Dagg’s song, “You don’t know how lucky you are,” loses a lot of its satire when I compare my life in New Zealand with that of those living in Syria. Since 2011 Syria has been in the grips of a savage civil war. 5 millions of its citizenry have fled into refugee camps in neighbouring countries and it is estimated that upwards of 400,000 people have been killed. Caught up in all of this is the small Christian population. To date 450,000 Christians have fled their homes. Sadly, Damascus and the rest of the country has literally lost some of its glow. In fact, according to satellite imaging, Eighty-three percent of all the lights in Syria have gone out since the start of the conflict. If it were just the lights, it would be bad enough. But imagine all the electrical appliances suddenly gone dead. We take so much for granted. Destruction of infrastructure is an age-old physiological war tactic. If despots taught classes, their first course would be called: “Emotional Terrorism 101.” They achieve this by creating unrest through distrust. Blame becomes a powerful tool to set people against each other. Saul of Tarsus was a chief spokesman for the despotic religious leaders in Jerusalem. He was convicted that a person who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, was a blasphemer, and worthy of death. He was on his way to Damascus to hunt down this new ‘cult’ of Christian troublemakers. But on one particular day, on one particular spot, on that particular road to Damascus, Syria did not want for light. Ironically, it was only when Paul was blinded by the Light, that Jesus revealed himself to him. This man who was, up to that minute, his sworn enemy, had just had his “Damascus Road Experience” (Acts 9). Thus, sparking off a series of events that has helped to change the world forever. Paul did as Jesus told him to do. He went into Damascus. Ananias preached the gospel to him. And with repentant heart he submitted himself to baptism—Jesus washed away his sins. I pray that everyone meets Jesus. May God bless Syria with the light of this world, but more so with The Light of Christ. Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).



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