Walking in Darkness

The Gospel of John makes great use of dark and light imagery. John beautifully weaves metaphors of night and darkness with sin and death. Light becomes a symbol of Christ and hope. Even at the end of Judas’ betrayal story, John writes that Judas got up from the warmth of the supper in the upper room and went ”into the night.”

As we quickly approach Christmas this week, our neighborhoods, our trees, our banisters, and even our tacky sweaters are encased in light. We do this as a celebration of the Christ-child, who was born to be the ”Light of the World.” On Christmas Eve, we will finally light the Christ Candle in the center of our Advent Wreaths and proclaim that Christ is a Light that can never be extinguished. Amen!

John 8:12 says this: ”Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; whoever follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The Light of Life. Think about it! Following Jesus means that we have access to a light that will illuminate our path no matter what tragedy, temptation, or trial encumbers us. Like a flashlight, all we need to do is turn it on and point it toward the darkness.

Isaiah also wrote beautiful words about darkness and light. In the ninth chapter, we discover this passage, which tells us exactly why the Light of the World came:

Isaiah 9 (New Revised Standard Version)

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
    on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
    and the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.

And now for the Christmas part:
For a child has been born for us,
    a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
    and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
    and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
    He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Jesus came to light up your situation. He came with so much power and might, there is no force of darkness you can encounter that could dull his wattage. He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace, who brings endless peace to the world.

Do you lack peace right now? Turn on the Light.

Darkness to Light by Stacey Hanf

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