A few months ago my wife and I were visiting friends, and worshiped with them on the Lord’s day. From the exterior the church was a beautiful building, and had a magnificent entrance with natural light streaming in. Before the service we stood and chatted with several people. Clearly the church architect had succeeded in designing a welcoming spot. However, when we went into the sanctuary (or auditorium), we descended into the semi-darkness of a concrete box! There were no windows or any natural light. The atmosphere had been deliberately designed to mimic a night club or rock concert. I wondered, “Why do so many contemporary churches deliberately choose to worship in the dark?”

I thought about this over the last couple of weeks as I have been preaching on Revelation 4 and 5. It is unimaginable that the throne room of God would be in darkness! The apostle John describes brilliant gems like jasper and cornelian. Around God’s throne is a rainbow that has an appearance of an emerald. “And before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass, like crystal” (Revelation 4:6). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Paul writes that God “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16). In heaven “night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and forever” (Revelation 22:5).

So, if we had a choice, why would we choose to worship in the dark rather than in the light?

John Munro

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