"Light has come into this world, but men loved darkness instead of the light because their deeds
were evil. Everyone who hates the light will not come to it, because it exposes their deeds, but whoever comes by means of truth will come to the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what they have done has been done through God". John's Gospel, chapter 3, verses 19-21.
It is without doubt one of the most dreadful and terrifying things that can happen to people - when a lie is given power and credibility and promoted as good and right. I can recall many years ago watching the film, 'The Killing Fields' and feeling totally horrified at how human beings can give themselves over (via fear or selfishness) to the atrocious. It is, sadly, a common tale of our times; a savage age filled with examples in almost every part of the world of such carnage, but rarely do we face the reality of what generates such evil. Thankfully, if painfully, life can occasionally intervene to jolt us back to this reality. It did for me this week.
Traveling on a train to a nearby city, I encountered a group of youths, aged between around eleven and thirteen years of age. They decided to sit in the carriage where I was, and, despite this being deemed a zone where mobile phones and the like should not be used, proceeded to loudly begin to use such devices.
It wasn't just their flagrant disrespect for everyone else in the place that was the problem - it was the sheer level of profanity in the materials they were accessing and discussing without any sense of conscience or shame. Two boys across from me, not yet in their teens, openly discussed 'family porn' videos they had downloaded that morning and homosexual acts as 'fun', before joining in singing a grotesque rap song they had on their phones.
I sought to ask them, politely, to turn off these devices as they were not meant to be used - this merely resulted in a few minutes quieter use, before they became even louder.
I found myself shaking from the incident as I left the train; the incident was like a nightmare in slow motion, and for good reason - there was simply no respect in these young boys for themselves or others, allowed at such an age to travel without parents or adults they could look up to, that would prevent them so easily reveling in such corruption (one even spoke of how his parent liked the videos!).
The darkness that resides in the human heart which makes us shameless has indeed become evident, vaunted in our world, and this in itself is a judgment upon a race which now loudly denies the God who formed us and has brought light into our miserable estate.
The last few days have made me so very aware of the fact that we all share a propensity to fall;
to mis-use what God has bestowed and demean what He has made us to be, but thankfully,
as was the case for Noah following his drunken errors, there is mercy if we seek the light of genuine grace, found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.