“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”
The days grow shorter and the darkness longer as we make our way into December. Darkness seems to take over life. Darkness is just there. It doesn’t come from somewhere – it just is. Darkness is the absence of light. During this time of year, as the darkness takes up more of our day, our waking hours, it affects us. We find ourselves longing for more light.
The book of Genesis tells us that in the beginning, darkness was over the surface of the deep. God hovered over it. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was; and it was good. Since darkness existed before sin entered the world, it is not that darkness itself is evil, but darkness has become a common metaphor for evil, for fear and dread, sorrow, pain, personal struggle, emotional despair, and all sorts of things we usually consider bad or at least undesirable. And we find ourselves longing for more light.
The Gospel of John begins with this same metaphor of darkness and light. John identifies Jesus as the light coming into our world, Jesus as the light that dispels the darkness. John said that Jesus was the life and the light for all people.
Darkness disappears when light arrives. Light does not appear because darkness has been removed. Darkness is always at the mercy of light. It is not we who must remove our darkness to make room for the Light. It is the light and life of Jesus which dispels the darkness. And so authors of scripture used this picture as they spoke of Jesus – “He is the light of the world”, “whoever follows him will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” And we find ourselves longing for more of this light, Jesus.
Join us on Sundays this Advent season as we ask “Christ, Be Our Light.” As we begin to anticipate Christmas we will enjoy messages, choirs, carols, bells, and our children sharing the story of this light that came down to dispel our darkness. May your Advent anticipation fill you with faith as we await the birth of God’s Love and light among us.