Again Jesus spoke to them, saying “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
When my kids were little, there was a house in our neighborhood that exploded with Christmas lights. During the month of December, Terry would deter on our trip home, and the children would squeal with anticipation. As we approached the house, their eyes were bright with delight, pointing at all the sights and sighing with pleasure. No matter how many times we visited the house, the children always found something new to savor. Yet, this same house during the day, offered no amusement for my children. It was only when the sky was dark, that the explosion of light brought joy to my family.
The book of John begins with explaining the attributes of Jesus. John states “In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Throughout the birth of Jesus, light was used to illuminate the presence of Jesus. The wisemen followed a bright star to find Jesus and bright light surrounded the angels when they announced the birth to the shepherds. Notice that each of the lights occurred in darkness, and neither the wisemen nor the shepherds were completely aware of what this birth meant. They just knew that following the light would transform their lives.
Just like 2000 years ago, the presence of Jesus still illuminates the darkness in our world. Ken Dillingham, of the Dillingham group, in a recent podcast stated, “The light has the greatest effectiveness when it is the darkest.” A candle doesn’t have the same ethereal beauty during the day then it does at night. My sweetest moments with Jesus have been the times in my life when the hard situation seemed to be closing in on me. At these times, I would read a scripture, hear a message, or have a friend speak a word of encouragement to me, bringing light into my darkness. This light was like a beacon for me, leading to me joy, peace, love, and hope. Matthew describes the people that Jesus ministered to as “dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, for those dwelling in the region, and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” It’s Christmas Eve, and the final hours of Advent are approaching. Light a candle this evening, notice how it makes everything in your home beautiful and festive. When you blow the candle out, know that in the morning, we are celebrating “the life that was the light of men.”