Tag Archives: light

The Christ, Part 1

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars. ~Og Mandino

My father proposed to my mother while they were out looking at Christmas lights. It became a family tradition every year to drive around town looking at the twinkling colors.

It was a tradition I continued with my own family. Though I don’t decorate for the holidays, every year we drive through the neighborhoods looking at the lights. In some places we have lived we have even visited special light shows.

Darkness falls like cold black waters in late December, but the Christmas lights offer warmth and hope.

John’s gospel opens with such a light.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John mentions light many times in his book.

Nicodemus, a member of the Ruling Council, came to Jesus at night, cloaked in darkness to avoid being seen. He talks with Jesus, wanting clarification of who Jesus is. Jesus answers with the famous lines- For God so loved the world that he gave his only son- and then spoke light into Nicodemus’s world-  “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light . . .” (John 3:1-21)

The Morning Star continued . . .

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (8:12)

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (9:5)

John details a miraculous healing in chapter 9. A man born blind is healed and can see for the first time in his life. The Pharisees and rulers are baffled about what to do. They see the man in front of them, but they don’t see the God who healed him. Jesus says now it is the Pharisees who are blind. They have no light.

And as Jesus prepares to be handed over to death he tells his disciples, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light . . . so that you may become children of light.” (12:35-36)

John ends his book with the resurrection of Jesus. It is dark, just before dawn, and Mary Magdalene has gone to anoint the body with herbs and spices. It will be her last act of reverence for the one she believed was the Christ.

Only, his body isn’t there.

As the day dawns, and light floods the garden, Mary recognizes the risen Lord.

“I have seen the Lord!” she declares to all who will listen.

December is dark. Night comes early. Coldness descends. But lights break through the darkness reminding us that Jesus came into the world.

Have you seen the Christmas Light?


The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone. Isaiah 9:2 ESV

Light

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Gen 1:2-4

The shadows lengthen and Darkness falls quietly, quickly, almost imperceptibly. It is late in the year: the time when living room lamps are always lit, candles glow in the windows, and a warm fire flickers in the fireplace. Yet, the Darkness penetrates every room like a cold draft.

“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'” Mk 7:20-23

Then a tiny babe brings Light and laughter into our lives. His impending arrival causes people to celebrate, rejoice, be generous, even dare to laugh at the Darkness. The babe is Light itself robed in newness that shines and sparkles and glitters dispelling the cold draft and warming each soul from its very center.

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Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just  a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” Jn 12:35-36

Every day following the light lasts longer, shines brighter. The nights get shorter; the darkness becomes less dreary. The Light reaches out from the child and enters the hearts of those who hold him close. Their faces glow with warmth, hope, possibilities, until the whole Earth bursts forth with his newness, his Light.

. . . shepherds who feed only themselves. . . clouds without rain. . . autumn trees without fruit. . . wild waves of the sea foaming up their shame. . . wandering stars

for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Jude

The Darkness screams in defiance. It will not be swallowed by this Light. But the child has grown stronger, no more a child, but a man, a God. Darkness attacks mercilessly, unfaintingly, completely.

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has NOT overcome it. Jn 1:4-5

Yet it does not win. The Light has entered the world and Darkness must sound the retreat.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis  

I believe in Jesus and I believe the Son has risen; not only because I see him, but because by him I see everything else.