As of today, this blog is no longer called ‘Teenage Christian’. I’m not planning on bringing in major changes to how I do things with this change of name, but I do want to use it as a way to refocus and to reassess what I’m trying to do with this blog. Originally I was planning on waiting until my 20th birthday to change the name of the site, when I officially wouldn’t be a ‘teenage Christian’ anymore, but in light of what God’s been putting on my heart recently and the kind of things I want to write about, I felt like now was the time to make the change.
So why have I called the site ‘Brightest Day’? I think, in the Christian context that it’s meant, the term can refer to a lot of things. What I really want to get you thinking about is the light of God, and what that means. From there, there’s two things I really want to think about: life and hope. John writes in his gospel that ‘in [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ (John 1:4). He later writes that God sent His son to die so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16) and in one of his letters elsewhere in the New Testament he writes that God is light (1 John 1:5). That last verse is also quoted in the new subheading.
So there’s a pretty clear link, in John’s writing at least, between God’s light and the life that He offers us now that Jesus has died the death we should have been destined for. Linked to that is the hope that we all have in God: the hope for the now and the not-yet. The hope for now is that our lives will be transformed by the faith we place in God and that we will see lives transformed around us. Yesterday we had a baptism service at church, and the stories from those eighteen people being baptised were amazing. It can be so encouraging to hear things like that and it’s that sort of thing that should motivate us to go and tell more people about the life that Jesus offers.
But we don’t just have a hope for transformation around us now, as amazing as that is, we also have a hope for one final transformation, or more of a restoration, when Jesus will come again and remake everything as it should be. Revelation 22:1-5 is a beautiful, short passage that describes what this new world will look like, or part of it at least, and I just want to quote verse 5 here: “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light”. Isn’t that amazing? If we’re talking about the brightest day in a literal sense, that eternal day will be the brightest day, and that’s the hope that we have in Jesus: the hope for full restoration.
There are other aspects to this as well, aspects that I hope to explore more fully in the coming weeks. Not least of these is that we, as Christians, are called to be lights in the world, much like God is a light to us. Paul writes in Philippians 2 that if we live as God designed us to live, then we’ll “shine like stars” (Phil 2:15) and Jesus tells us in the sermon of the mount that we, those of us who hear His teaching, are the light of the world, and that we shouldn’t hide this light (Matthew 5:14-16). When we’re talking about the now, it’s the light that God has given us that can contribute to this idea of the ‘brightest day’.
In short, there’s a lot of messed up stuff going on in the world at the minute, but I believe in a God who doesn’t want to leave us as we are. The purpose of this blog, and the point of renaming it, is to show that there is more to life than this; there is hope and there is life. I hope that if you read this blog as a Christian you’ll be encouraged, and that maybe if you’re not a Christian, it might make you think that maybe there’s a point to all this after all, and that there’s something else going on beyond what the headlines tell you.
Final note: Some among you may be aware that the title is actually a quote from the Green Lantern oath. I’m fully aware of this and I might go into it another time, but for now it’s just a fun reference to a character who, through will and compassion, is able to shine a light in some of the darkest places.