The Inheritance

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.


— Colossians 1:12

 

It might perhaps be to commit some small logical violence on the terms of the passage to say that “the inheritance of the saints in light” must mean purely and only “the possession of light which is the inheritance of the saints.” At the same time, the phrase is literally “the inheritance of the saints in the light;” and this perhaps makes it the more likely that Paul had in his mind the light as itself the inheritance of the saints—that he held the very substance of the inheritance to be the light. And if we remember that God is light; also that the highest prayer of the Lord for his friends was that they might be one in him and his father; and recall what the apostle said to the Ephesians, that “in him we live and move and have our being,” we may be prepared to agree that, although he may not mean to include all possible phases of the inheritance of the saints in the one word light, as I think he does, yet the idea is perfectly consistent with his teaching. For the one only thing to make existence a good, the one thing to make it worth having, is just that there should be no film of separation between our life and the life of which ours is an outcome; that we should not only know that God is our life, but be aware, in some grand consciousness beyond anything imagination can present to us, of the presence of the making God, in the very process of continuing us the live things he has made us. This is only another way of saying that the very inheritance upon which , as the twice-born sons of our father, we have a claim—that this inheritance is simply the light, God himself, the Light.

Commentary

Comprehending Light
by Diane Adams

It’s misty and cold today, with the hills shadowed into deep steel clouds. The mist so fine; it's like the lightest rain, falling so silently in through the circling clouds. Everything is brown and white and grey, everything but the mistletoe on the bare mesquite trees and little splotches of green along the fence line. I walk fast, trying to clear my head from the assault of plastic Santas with painted on beards, 2 for the price of 1 'stocking stuffers' plunged below retail in a last ditch effort to unload a bit more junk into the junked up heads of frenzied consumers. 

In the distance, someone has strung a line of colored lights over their house, and it stands out starkly in the dead white morning. 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.' The words come into my mind, as I watch the twinkling glow. All the plastic, all the fake food and all the Chinese gadgets that will be filling the bursting landfills within a month cannot take anything away from that one fact. 

The light shines in the darkness. God's light breaks through the nonsense down here, through the dried up minds of those carried by cultural shifts into every foolish whim of the age. It breaks through the unwrapped piles of self-ambition and greed. Down through the ages the light reveals, uncovers the truth. It has been, it is, and it always will be. Wherever we are, however far from the road, however deep in the lies of this age, the light still shines. Darkness cannot compete with light. The gift we have been given is the light itself, the consuming force that swallows the shadows, forces the false self out and creates in us a new self, one that can comprehend light.