Genesis 1:1-5 KJV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw the light and that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day and the darkness, God called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
John 1:1-9 KJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came for a witness to bear witness to the light that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness to that Light. That as the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.
In this world and Christmas season, we have represented both the material and spiritual aspects of light, just as in the two Bible passages quoted above. Both passages are God’s blessings to us on earth and shed light on the meaning of Christmas.
In God’s created physical world, we have the beauty of light in both daytime as sunlight as well as in the nighttime as starlight, the Northern lights, and the moon as the reflected light of the sun. Advent wreaths with their lit candles remind us of the key aspects of the Christmas story, while the Christmas decorations of lighted trees and other indoor and outdoor decorations shine most everywhere we go as. As the Christmas song emphasizes, even the city street lights seem to blink a more vibrant red and green this time of year, while rain and snow sparkle with a special glitter, as do the logs sparking in the fireplace. Truly, there is so much light around us to enjoy in our physical world as it points to the spiritual light come down to earth as Immanuel, the Light of the World.
Indeed, John the Baptist pointed to God showing His face in Jesus as the Light of the World, as did the star over Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. Similarly, the lit-up faces of children and the love-filled hearts and hands of God’s people express more light too around this time of year.
In Genesis, we are reminded that the light is separated from the darkness which cannot overtake the darkness. Science concurs that all matter is at its core, light energy and that we are made of the same matter as stars. Thus, truly we came from dust (star dust, that is) and return to dust, and at our essence, we are made of light.
Genesis states that all light, in fact all of creation comes from its ultimate source, God, and that God has perfectly designed creation, including the exact position and movement of the heavenly bodies, so as to make abundant life possible on earth. God’s Word created light and God’s Word declared all creation to be good, and that the darkness could not overtake the light. Science confirms that there is no place where there is not light, not even in dark matter or black holes (which are condensed light).
The two passages tell us that it is the Word of God that made the manifest world and light, and then manifested as Jesus, come down to earth as the True Light of the World.
In John’s Gospel, we are told that though Jesus was with God from the beginning of the created universe, John the Baptist was sent to bear witness to this incarnated Light of the World so others might come to believe.
Especially in this busy Christmas season, we are challenged to notice the True Light of the see-Son. We all can miss the True Light and fail to bear living witness to this light by the way we spend our time, treasures, and talents. We are asked in the scriptures to be “salt and light to the world, and not to hide our light under a bushel, but to arise and shine so that others see the Christ light through us.” Advent is actually an adventure into, from return to The Light of the World. How might we stand in, be, live out of the Light of Christ instead of spending time putting up and taking down the temporary Christmas lights? Instead of burning the candle at both ends during this Holyday season, limiting or snuffing out our own light through busyness, how could we keep our “wicks trimmed and our lamps full,” fanning the flame of Christ’s love for all in order to bring the Kingdom of Heaven, the second coming of Christ, to this war-torn and off-center world? As opposed to being tired, how might we be afire with Jesus’ rebirth in us so as to be a “lamp and light on the path” for others, lighting the passionate fire of peace and justice on earth?
If we walk in the Light, we will live and talk the light, becoming a prism of God’s Sonlight which lights up the atmosphere with the rainbow colors of the “fruit of the spirit.” How might we be a point of light radiating love, hope, peace, help, and comfort to those living in the darkness of poverty, illness, despair, etc., until they can recognize and be lit anew by their own light within? How could we shine the light of grace and truth on every situation, person or issue so that God could really reign through our seeing things in a new light, exposing the areas of darkness in ourselves, letting God shine in and through us so that we see things through God’s eyes instead of our own, materially-focused eyes? How might we actually see the star light, Christ’s True light, within everyone, even the stranger and enemy as Jesus has called us to do, and truly enlighten the world with peace and goodwill for all?
Reborn with Christ this Advent, might each of us imagine ourselves as a lightning bug whose divine essence and sole purpose on earth is to spread light in the darkness, a being so created and so living in light that it can do no other than express light wherever it goes? Might we be like the moon, the reflected light of the Son, illuminating the seeming appearance of darkness?
Prayer: Dear Precious, Awesome God of the created universe, Grant us fresh eyes and open hearts and hands to perceive, receive and give the gift of your True Light to everyone, this season and always. Amen.Adele Swan