Dark and light
The recent events in Paris have highlighted once again the fragility of life. Scores of lives were ended by an organized campaign of terror that has left many either grieving. Hundreds more lives were seriously injured and left in shock. It was indeed a dark day.
But, sadly, it was not the only dark day of the year. We could list an array of dreadful events: wars waged for years, causing massive destruction; the violent treatment of prisoners; the oppression of whole nations under a dictatorship; the cruel trafficking of people suffering inhumane conditions; the merciless killing of Christians for not recanting their faith in Jesus Christ, so that it is said more are dying as martyrs in the twentieth century than have in the previous nineteen.
The world needs help! At Christmas we celebrates this. Out of God’s love for the world he sent his one and only Son to be its rescuer. How he is received divides the world, but determines everything: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3v17-18). The right thing to do is to receive Christ, which is neither simply a personal lifestyle choice, nor a private opinion to be dismissed from the public arena. It was a world-changing event and remains a life-changing event.
John’s theme of dark and light comes to the fore as he explains the consequence of this: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3v17-21). The only way out of the dark is to step into the light.
As a reader of this article will you come into the light? Join us to explore Christmas: come with your mind alert and investigative powers engaged. Consider Jesus and how to respond to the one who came from the Father, was born in Bethlehem, lived in Galilee and has impacted the world.