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The Ministry Separating Light from Darkness

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"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). Thus begins the Bible, in one of its most well-known verses.


But many may not immediately think of the verse that tells us that "the beginning" doesn't just refer to a point in time; it refers to a person.

St. Paul, writing to the Colossians, brings forth a hymn of praise to Christ, a hymn used each week in the official evening prayer of the Church. It says, "He is the beginning" (Col. 1:18).

It further points out that everything God created was created in Christ, through Christ and for Christ. 

"For in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible...all things were created through him and for him" (Col. 1:16)

This makes even more sense when we consider that Genesis tells us that God created by speaking. "God said, 'Let there be light'...and God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures...God said, 'Let us make man in our image'..." (Gen 1:3-26).

What is spoken? His Word. And who is his Word? Jesus Christ.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... all things were made through him...and the Word became flesh" (John 1:1-14).Yet there is another aspect of this work of God in Christ, manifested from the beginning, that we must not miss. In those first verses of Genesis, a word used even more than "created" is "separated."

"God separated the light from the darkness" (Gen. 1:4).

"God said, "Let there be a firmament...and let it separate the waters from the waters" (Gen. 1:6).

"And God said, 'Let there be lights in the separate the day from the night'" (Gen. 1:14).

Since it was Jesus Christ who was likewise creating, it was also Jesus who was separating. When he said, therefore, "I have come for division" (see Luke 12:51), this is the fulfillment of the original separation of light and darkness. "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness" (John 8:12).

The prophets separated truth from falsehood, and worship from idolatry, and as in the well-known story of Elijah, urged the people, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal is God, then follow him" (1 Kings 18:21).

This is echoed in St. Paul's admonition, "You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons" (1 Cor. 10:21).

Just as it was from the beginning of creation, the work and ministry of Jesus Christ is separation and division. Yes, of course, he brings unity ďż˝" he is unity. But that is precisely what demands the separation. We are united in light, truth, life and love, which destroy their opposites.

We who carry out the ministry of Christ, whether as lay persons or clergy, must know how to divide. We must be able to tell people that certain beliefs are false and others true. 

We have to be able to say that not all activity that goes by the name of "love" is pleasing to God, and that all the rationalization in the world does not justify abortion or the promotion of it by public officials.

In the beginning, that is, in Christ, God separated light from darkness. And he does so through us. And he does so forever.

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