God's Word Is a Lamp That Shines in the Darkness
Augustine was born in north Africa to a pagan Roman father and a Christian Berber mother. He spent his youth in Carthage as a true pagan and then journeyed to Rome to pursue his education. In his Confessions, he describes his time in a heretical sect and how he then came to Christ by the grace of God and the preaching of Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who baptized him in 386. Having renounced his pagan ways, Augustine soon returned to Africa and, as Bishop of Hippo, won renown as one of early Church's greatest theologians.
We Christians are the light, at least by comparison with unbelievers. Thus the Apostle says: For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk then as sons of the light. And elsewhere he says: The night is far spent, the day is drawing near. Let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us walk uprightly as in the day.
Nevertheless, since the days in which we are now living are still dark compared to the light which we shall see, hear what the apostle Peter says. He speaks of a voice that came from the Supreme Glory and said to the Lord Christ: You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This voice, he says, we heard coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain. Because we ourselves were not present there and did not hear the voice from heaven, Peter says to us: And we possess a more certain prophetic word to which you do well to attend, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
When, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ shall come and, as the apostle says, bring to light things hidden in darkness and make plain the secrets of the heart, so that everyone may receive his commendation from God, then the lamps will no longer be needed. When that day is at hand, the prophet will not be read to us, the book of the Apostle will not be opened, we shall not require the testimony of John, we shall have no need of the Gospel itself. Therefore in that light eternal all Scriptures will be taken away from us, those Scriptures which in the night of this world burned like lamps so that we might not remain in darkness.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
who caused all Holy Scripture
to be written for our learning:
Help us to hear, mark and understand them
that, strengthened by your Holy Word,
we may ever be upheld by the assurance
of eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ.