When Jesus was called “good” by the rich ruler He said, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Luke 18.19) He of course is good because He is God, but He is also a reflection of the goodness of the Father. In that moment with the rich ruler, Jesus was teaching us the truth of the incarnation of God in the Son – Jesus Christ. And as a Son is a reflection of the Father, so Jesus is a reflection of the Goodness that is in the Father. The ruler is right to call Him good, he just wasn’t fully aware of Jesus' divinity.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Saint Paul says, “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5.8) Jesus is the Light and we have become children of Light, and just as Jesus is a reflection of the Father, so we must become a reflection of the light of Jesus. We must reflect the Light of our father. Just as Jesus IS the Light, and we reflect the Light that is in Jesus, then we must BE the Light of God in the world.
When the rich ruler asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded, “You know the commandments.” (Luke 18.19) The Commandments of God are meant to guide us into holy lives as a reflection of God’s holiness and goodness. In the shadow of Thanksgiving, with our hearts still warm toward God and others, we have a chance to live as children of light rather than children of darkness. We have a chance to reflect the goodness of God rather than the evil selfishness of the world. It might be difficult, but “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18.27)
As we turn the corner with Thanksgiving behind us, now fully concentrating on Christmas, this is the perfect opportunity for us to allow the commandments of God to shape our lives into a reflection of His Light. His commandments teach us to love even our enemies, give without expecting anything in return, honor our parents, tell the truth, and much more. His commandments also teach us to forgive those who have not followed His commandments.
When we follow the commandments to the best of our abilities, we learn to live as God wants us to live, and become Light to others in the darkness of the world. When we arrive at the celebration of Christmas and Epiphany, the coming of the Light into the world, having focused on following the commandments, we will know Him. The Commandments are not easy to follow. They never were, but all things are possible with God.