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guiding light

In 1937, five days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second inauguration, a new radio drama, The Guiding Light, aired its first episode on NBC Radio.  Ten years later, the show moved to CBS Radio and then had its debut on CBS Television in 1952.  The definite article was dropped from the show’s title in 1975.  The final episode of Guiding Light aired last Friday, September 18, after 72 years on radio and television, making it far and away the longest running serial drama in broadcast history.  So, have I been a longtime, closet Guiding Light fan?  Hardly!  I never “got” soap operas, despite my maternal grandmother’s unyielding devotion to her afternoon “stories.”  I just found it remarkable that this particular soap had been on the air for 72 years!  Can you imagine all of the characters that came and went over seven decades?  The numerous twisted, tangled (and often morally depraved!) storylines?

However, I know of a much longer running story.  It involves the true Guiding Light, a perfectly moral and sinless Guiding Light.  The beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a Light dawned,” (Is. 9:2; Matt. 4:16).  “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man,” (John 1:9).  Jesus Himself said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life,” (John 8:12).  His Light gives us instruction and guidance as we travel through this life and into eternity.  His Word and Gospel, just like earlier divine revelation, is “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path,” (Ps. 119:105).

The “story” continues, almost 2,000 years after the Light dawned!  Millions of characters have now been involved in this ongoing spiritual drama, with storylines spanning the centuries and touching every nation, tribe and tongue.  The darkness will not overwhelm us!  “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light,” (Eph. 5:8).

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September 2009