Can you imagine a world without any light? Light brings energy, warmth, growth, sight, direction. People who live in parts of the world with long winters – going months with hardly any daylight – have increased rates of depression. Even working in a basement office without windows can negatively impact one’s mood, appetite, and sleep cycle.
No one wants to stumble around in darkness. We need light to live.
Yet, we live in a world filled with much spiritual darkness – sin, pain, confusion, suffering. The shadow of death looms over us all: the fear of death, grief over the loss of loved ones, the slow spiritual death all humans experience. Darkness chokes out hope.
And so, praise God – he has not left us in darkness; the Light of Life has come! In the opening of Luke’s Gospel, Zechariah prophesied how his son would prepare the way for the Messiah…
You no longer need to sit in darkness! You no longer need to live under death’s shadow! Christ has come – the Light of Life – to guide our feet to the way of peace!
Matthew’s Gospel uses this same imagery to show that the birth of Jesus is like the sunrise at dawn. The coming of Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, who said, “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned” (Matt. 4:16, Is. 9:2). Like the sun rising up over the horizon after a long, dark, cold night – Jesus has come!
John opens his Gospel account grounded in this same powerful truth about the coming of Jesus.
Darkness can never overcome light. Even one candle in a huge auditorium will send light to every corner of the room. Jesus is the Light of the world, and he invites you to follow him – walking out of the darkness into the Light of Life. Jesus says:
Don’t remain in darkness. Let the light of Christ shine into your life, overwhelming the darkness, pushing out the shadow of death. Follow the Light of Life and let him guide you in the path of forgiveness, hope, and eternal life.