This season of the year is characterized by decorations in both public places and neighborhoods. Whether it’s the mall, fountain square, or the house up the street, lights are everywhere, and they symbolize Christmas in so many ways. Light brings hope. Light is truth. Light helps us to see what’s really there. Light in the form of a star guided men to bring gifts to a baby in Bethlehem. Light reveals glory on a night when shepherds learned that a Savior had been born. Light dispels fear and darkness. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.”
Of our Lord’s incarnation John wrote, “In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:4-5) These words put advent into perspective. In Jesus we have the light but we live in a dark and unbelieving world.
The Lord told us to be light, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Through this imperative Jesus reminds us that we’re to be out in the open with the love of our God. We cannot be secret followers of Jesus. It means that we openly offer to serve others, to pray for others, and to walk beside others in their times of distress and discouragement.
Our candle is the word. “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (II Peter 1:19) With all the heartache that’s going on in the world, it’s a big challenge to be the light and share the light. Darkness could make us feel overmatched. But it’s all in how we look at it.
Og Mandino reflected on our situation with these words: “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” No matter what’s going on around me, I have Jesus within me. “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6) Let’s share the light!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com