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Darkness

Today’s Reflection

IF YOU ARE EVER TEMPTED to doubt the reality of evil as an active force in this world, simply remember that Jesus believed it to be so. A single-dimensional outlook, unwilling to confront the possibility of darkness simply plays into the hands of evil. In C. S. Lewis’s classic book The Screwtape Letters, the crafty older demon acknowledges that the cause of evil accrues much more power when Christians fail to concede that it exists.

At the same time we also have to understand that, as children of light, evil has no long-term power over us. But it’s not that easy to defeat an enemy if we refuse to name it. Having named evil for what it is, we can go on to declare that “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:10-11). Darkness has no hold on Christ or on followers of the Way.

—Derek Maul
Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent

From page 43 of Reaching Toward Easter: Devotions for Lent by Derek Maul. Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you seen that light has power over darkness and evil?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me.
—John 14:30, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

Now we see clearly the rest of the story. Death is not the end. Violence is not victorious. Death and darkness are overcome for all time and for all people! The Lord is risen. Death loses its sting, and God’s light permanently overcomes the darkness of evil. Read more..

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Jill April 20, 2019, 5:47 am

    In new mercies each morning – light breaks through. The Spirit strengthens us to carry out tasks which seemingly would overwhelm us, but when we cling to Him – we exist in His power and are able to withstand. It just takes a mere breath of light – and the darkness dissipates.
    Grateful for safe travel yesterday, despite heavy rain at times. Despite a tornado watch in effect, dad and I were able to eat at a nearby restaurant and take a walk near our hotel. We have just a short drive to the beach today.
    Grateful dad is able to speak about mom, though his heart is broken. The silence we had to exist under was crushing at times to me. I treasure our time together, the hours in the car – and the spontaneous memories which hit him – and he feels safe and comfortable putting words to them. I am so glad we can share this time.
    Trying to be reflective of these very holy days, but feel like I am still coming out of chaos. It is hard to reign in my mind and thoughts – but hoping the days ahead will yield to even more peace and, while tardy, some contemplative thoughts on Christ, his road, his Sacrifice.

  • robert moeller April 20, 2019, 7:20 am

    It’s always darkest just before the dawn. Today is like that just before Easter.
    Unlike the disciples who had no idea what would happen next, we, 2000+ years later, know Easter is tomorrow. Thank You, Lord!

    Lots of computer work the last few days taking care of what needs to be done to purchase the condo and make progress toward the move. Keeping busy doing what needs to be done helps make me less anxious. Thankfully things seem to be going in the right direction.

    Prayers for Larry, Jill, and Becky; Mary and her family at the passing of her Mum, Marcy and her helper Mary, Julie, her hands and feet, daughter Megan, and the future; Edy’s Bill, Andrea and Lowell, Connie, Betsy, and all the UR family. May this be a helpful, spirit filled, and holy Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. Thank You, Lord!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 20, 2019, 7:32 am

      Thanks Robert!

      Today, dad enjoyed his birthday with the family.

      Your prayers make a difference!

      Blessings!

      • Connie April 20, 2019, 11:32 am

        Happy Birthday to your dear Father. May each up-coming day bring him some form of joy.

  • Julie April 20, 2019, 8:10 am

    I am having some difficulty this morning with keyboards, so beear with me please.
    Yes, there is much evil in this world and we can never let down our defenses. I live with evil.
    Prayers for April and her family, thank you for your kind words and thoughtful aadvice. May you have a blessed Easter celebration with your family.
    Prayers for Andrea and lowell, may God hear her prayers regarding her grandson aand her fears for him.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family as they celebrate Harrison’s first Easter together. May her daughter join them in church.
    Prayers For Connie, may the rebirth of God’s creation revive her spirit.
    Prayers for Edy and Bill, may they havee a joy filled Easter celebration.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and safe travel and time to process their loss.
    Praayers for Lou and her family, may her youngest receive help for her anxiety specially before she leaves for college.
    Prayers for Mary and her family as they celebrate her father’s birthday amidst the sorrow of the loss of her mum.
    Prayers for Marcy and Lucy, may they be well.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may the buying of the condo progress wihout any more snafus and may Erich join Robert in church.
    Prayers for Rusty aand K, may both be well.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs aand thank you again and again dear, dear UR family.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 20, 2019, 8:31 am

      Thanks Julie!

      Thank you Holy Spirit for comforting the family!

      Blessings!

      May Julie’s hands and feet heal and may her situation improve.

      May Jill and her family continue to cling to God and experience more of God’s power and love every day!

    • Andrea April 20, 2019, 9:21 am

      Thank you, Julie, for your prayers. It is a blessing to read your comments and prayers each day. I pray you will soon be in good, healthy circumstances. I am confident God has a new purpose for you and His plan has already begun to unfold. God bless you!

  • Andrea April 20, 2019, 8:19 am

    As I think about this question, what first occurs to me is a strong woman I know, an ordained minister, who also is the founder of a small town museum. I will call her Laura. I recall an acquaintance, the leader of a small performance group, who I will call Lisa, become irate and lash out publicly at Laura over a perceived slight, which actually was an adjustment made out of necessity due to a holiday program being behind schedule. Laura responded to Lisa calmly, rationally, and with care and, in future years, continued to work with her with grace, dignity, and professional humor.

    That is such a small example in answer to today’s question, but it was something I witnessed directly and it made an impression on me. I know much greater, more important and far-reaching instances exist – for example, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela.

    It is a perfect spring day today and I will try to spend time outdoors. I continue to take short walks with crutches outside, some days cutting back on distance when I find I overdid it the day before. Yesterday I made chicken noodle soup for my neighbor, who has bronchitis. It is good to find I can more useful things now.

    May the spirit of God fall afresh on each person who visits UR today. Continued prayers for dear UR friends in this clan (an apt word, Jill), with a special prayer for Mary’s father on his birthday today, and for Mary, Jill, Larry, and Becky.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling April 20, 2019, 8:42 am

      Thanks Andrea!

      Amen to all your prayers!

      May God bless you and your family abundantly!

  • Darr Sigilman April 20, 2019, 8:34 am

    I have seen that light has power over darkness when I get violently mad at my family to such A degree that I would like to get them out of my life permanently and never see them again and then I pray and read the Bible and that get rid of my anger and my rage stops. My mother was A mental patient and she was always having an unwarranted rage over little things that other people wouldn’t give A second thought to. For example, if someone happened to interrupt her in the slightest way while she was talking she wouldn’t just simply exchange excuse mes, she would get mad and act like she had been very wronged, and she had been very mistreated just because someone just had interrupted her. She was A problem to live with. I got so I wanted to get her out of my life and never see her again. She was that objectionable to live with.

    • Andrea April 20, 2019, 9:24 am

      Darr, May God heal your memories of your mother and help you overcome your temper. Prayers and blessings, and wishing you a Happy Easter.

  • Connie April 20, 2019, 11:43 am

    I have always loved the Easter Season. Yesterday I say white Hyacinths, yellow Daffodils, Purple crocuses as I stopped at a stop sign. I felt young again.
    As for the Devil, “Get thee behind us Satan”. We belong to God.
    Have a blessed Easter, dear ones.

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