Faith & Fandom
Lanterns: In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
If you are moderately aware of the comic book world you’ve at least heard of Green Lantern. True, what you heard may not be the greatest thing....Ryan Reynolds....but the concept overall is pretty cool. A ring that chooses you based on your character and gives you the ability to manifest the light into different embodiments. A concept that you also see embodied in a sense between Jesus and his disciples. Not that Jesus was passing out power rings (how cool would that be, ya know?). You follow Christ and the Holy Spirit manifests as a power ring on a believer, ok fantasy tangent...moving on.
Recently the whole lantern concept grew leaps and bounds by the brilliant direction of comic book writer Geoff Johns. Instead of simply having a green lantern, he expanded the rings variety to cover the whole color spectrum. Each color represents a different character embodiment. Green : Will Power Red : Rage Yellow : Fear Orange : Avarice (Greed) Blue : Hope Indigo : Compassion Violet : Love Black : Death White : Life
Imagine if literally you could be assigned a ring, based on who you are at your core, in your deepest parts, and then use that power to wield a light you could bend and mold to your will. So my question before we proceed is; “which lantern would you be?” Not which one would you want to be, out of the previously listed rings, which one would choose you?
God uses light to cut through the darkness, to guide, and to heal. Even in the very beginning, in Genesis 1 we see, “1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” God called light into existence to combat the darkness (which is even echoed in the comics, the “white” lantern ring is supposedly formed from the light that appeared when God said ‘let there be light’).
God has been using light to lead people ever since. Isaiah 42:16, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them”
Just take a moment to look at the Black & White rings (Death/Life). We start out this world with the black ring, with death already ruling over us. “ Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18. We are offered life. Jesus even goes as far as to say that his followers are the light of this world. Not that they will become the light, but that they are the light. Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” We don’t get awesome rings or
anything like that, but we literally are the light that Christ chooses to use to help others find their way in the dark. Where the rings of comics focus on the character the person is already, Jesus uses us as his light. He uses the righteousness and spirit that He places in us. The light that comes from knowing Christ is the same light that God separated the darkness with in the very beginning. Being a lantern is a huge responsibility (comes with an oath and everything). But being a follower of Christ is an even bigger responsibility, to literally be the light in the darkness.
The difficult thing is that light and darkness don’t co-exist very well. Not to cross proverbial streams, but in “The Dark Knight Rises,” Bane states in his muffly voice, “Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!” Being the light in the dark is a difficult task because it puts you in opposition to the dark. John 3, “19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
So we shouldn’t be surprised if people don’t respond to the light sometimes, you ever been asleep and someone just flip a light on? Not a pleasant experience. But if you’ve ever been lost in the dark, you know the hope even a glimmer of light can bring. So don’t be afraid to let your light be visible and never hide it. You may be offensive to some, but you may also be that glimmer of light someone in the dark is desperately searching for that can bring them to Christ. “...In brightest day, in blackest knight...”