Light in the darkness
Who’d choose the dark winter nights over the light summer ones? If your idea of comfort is to sit in front of a fire sipping a hot drink, then I guess you’d go for the winter. If you prefer sitting reading in the garden or being active somewhere outdoors, then you’d probably opt for the summer months. Either way, we can manipulate the environment with artificial light, patio heaters or air conditioning to suit our lifestyles. Even those keen on winter usually meet the shortest day of the year with reluctance and look back on it in relief. Most would agree and say how welcome is the light!
As the day length shortens during December we have a very good reason to celebrate. For Jesus’ followers Christmas is the time to celebrate the coming of light in the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here’s how John’s Gospel puts it: ‘The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world’ (John 1v9). He brought light to the darkness. The word ‘light’ is figurative for the knowledge of God. Jesus is the true source of light i.e. He reveals God and makes it possible for us to know Him.
The Bible says that our natural state is to be separated from God due to our sin. This is likened to us being or walking in the dark, so that we are lost, lacking direction and far from God. But God has not left us in the dark. He has made Himself known by sending his Son Jesus into the world He has made. This is staggeringly exciting! But sadly not everyone at the time Jesus walked the earth was drawn to the light: ‘He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him’ (John 1v11). Today there is a similar mixed reaction – not all accept or recognise that Jesus was God who became flesh, lived and died amongst us but rose again so that He is alive now. Yet some do still see His ‘glory’ as they read about Him in the Gospel records and meet Him for themselves – they recognise God’s presence and power in Jesus Christ. The coming of Jesus makes it possible for us to know God personally.
Do come and join in our Christmas services as we look again at the good news of great joy for all the world.