The Light of the World and a Darkness You Can FeelDecember 14, 2017
My pastor has been working through a “Do Not Fear” series during Advent. Throughout the Bible, when angels appear they have to start their communication with humans by telling them to “fear not!” Why? Because the unknown, out of the ordinary, inexplicable, and uncontrollable causes us to fear! We fear all kinds of things. Some fears are rational and some fears are even righteous, but there’s a lot of fear that is unfaithful. It’s that unfaithful fear that we want to identify, expose and allow God to drive out by His presence, power and perfect love. Indeed, perfect love casts out fear.
One of the passages we’ve looked at in the series comes from Exodus. The context is the back and forth between Moses and Pharaoh over whether or not the people of God will be allowed to leave Egypt where they have been enslaved for hundreds of years. By chapter 10 God has sent plagues which, to this point, have not sufficiently convinced Pharaoh. God instructs Moses, “Stretch out your hand to the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt — darkness that can be felt.” Moses obeyed and a palpable darkness fell over Egypt for three days.
Have you ever felt darkness? I have. It is fearful.
Maybe you’ve felt the darkness this year. Maybe you’ve felt darkness pressing in through the headline news. Maybe the darkness has crept into your mind and depression is closing in. Maybe darkness is encroaching in your marriage through pornography or into your relationships through social media. You can feel it suck the joy out of your day and drain the life out of your relationships. But– praise be to God– we can also feel it driven back the moment light shines.
Darkness hates light. It literally cannot abide in it.
As I write I’m sitting in view of the flickering candles on the mantle and the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree. Last night we took the kids to see The Star, then we drove around and took in the lights adorning nearby neighborhoods. Indeed, this is the season of Light – and this year, more than most, we recognize our deep need for Him.
“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,” Matthew 4:16 declares. In John 8:12, “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’.” And in John 12:46 Jesus says, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
The light of life. O how we need that!
If you’re feeling the darkness of this present age, hear the good news of Christmas:
“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 was not anything made that was made. 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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
– John 1:1-14
This Christmas, let there be Light!