Post Tenebras, Lux (LIGHT For Those Who Have Never Heard)
- April 28, 2019
- Naomi Woo
Post tenebras, lux. After darkness, light.
Good Friday, Passover, Resurrection Day. I love this time of year. The Spring blossoms draw my gaze as I drive our blue minivan, the winsome promise of new life. Hope sparks with the reminders that my Savior is ALIVE, that He paid the price I could never pay, died the death I deserved, and now LIVES to intercede for me (as my pastor Alan Wright loves to say).On Saturday we visited Caroline’s grave. First wife to my husband, first mother to my children, she is experiencing the fullness of what we only see dimly—wholeness, restoration, union with Christ, glory beyond what we can grasp.
My dear ones have experienced tenebras (Latin for darkness). They’ve felt the bitter sting of death, walked through the valley of the shadow, said goodbye too soon, felt the hand of she who they loved most in the word go limp. They’ve wept while she was buried and been hollowed out by the grief of her absence. But not without HOPE.
How different this would all be without Christ! Tenebras with no lux. Suffering with no meaning. Goodbyes with no promise of “hello”.
Did you know that 40% of the world lives and dies with no access to the Light (Lux) of the Gospel? That’s almost 3 billion people (1 billion seconds = 31.7 years) who do not know Christ, not because they don’t care, but because they have no churches and few (or no) believers in their culture to tell them. (“The Unreached” by Reality Global- http://realitysb.com/ministries/global/)
We often argue about the cultural trappings of Easter–bunnies, eggs, candy, and the other silly (ahem, borderline pagan) traditions that slip into our celebration. But what about the whole cultures who have ZERO representation of the Gospel, ZERO access to a church, ZERO friends who know Jesus? Think about how many options you have for Easter Sunday. Most churches add multiple services, so you could literally have hundreds of options when it comes to worship. What if you had NONE?
What breaks my heart is that of the 400,000 cross-cultural workers who go out in the world as missionaries, only 3% go to the most unreached parts of the world. That means 97% of missionaries go where Christ is already known. http://www.thetravelingteam.org/stats
And as for our finances… less than 7% of our giving goes to cross-c
ultural missions, and of that 7% only 1% goes to the unreached. That means only about $.01 of every $100 goes to the parts of the world where they have no Bibles or churches in their language! People spend more money on Halloween costumes for their pets (!) than they do on frontier missions! (“State of the World- The Task Remaining” by Global Frontier Missions). And one article (NBC- “American’s Will Spend How Much on Easter this Year?!”) states that Americans will spend 18.4 billion dollars on Easter candy this year!!! Compare that to the 450 million given to unreached mission work!
In Romans 15:20-21 Paul said, “thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’”
So while my heart is full of HOPE, while I celebrate my RISEN Savior, I am filled with longing that those trapped in tenebras (darkness), that they would find the Lux (Light) of the world.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. Isaiah 9:2
Caroline’s death was tragic. The ache of loss buzzes in the background of our days like static on the radio. But we do not dwell in the shadow of death. The Light shines in the darkness! His love surrounds us! His kindness comforts us. His peace steeps in our hearts, like a tea bag in hot water. His Presence is our HOPE. Post tenebras, lux! We know that this life is NOT the end! We will see our loved one again. We will ourselves be resurrected! Glory upon glory, now unto forever amen! Oh that all would praise Him!
And so, I implore you, friends. How is God calling YOU to bring His message of HOPE to the unreached people of the world? Let’s skip the Halloween costumes for our pets (lol!), the complacency, the me-first mentality and share the LIGHT to the ends of the earth!
Post tenebras, lux! After darkness, LIGHT.