Monday, November 29, 2010

Light Shining in Darkness

Light Shining in Darkness
November 29, 2010

We grew up in the country. Kids that lived in the city would call it the boondocks when they came to visit. I miss living in the country. Especially at night. Far from the city lights the sky was so clear during the winter. There were so many stars and the moon seemed so close. The nights during a full moon were a special treat. The night seemed like day because the moonlight was so radiant and bright. The nights provide such a contrast in the country because of the deep darkness one night and just a few nights later there would the evening sky would be radiant with the moon’s brilliance.

Christmas is quite a contrast. Scripture says that the world is dark. The Bible says we live in darkness with a great need for the light. Even more, Jesus said He is the light the world desperately needs. Several questions quickly come to my mind. First, do you realize you live in darkness apart from the grace of God? Do I? Our reasoning, wisdom, decision-making and desires are not based on the light when we are far from God. When we live by own accord we do not make decisions that honor God. Most often our good deeds are only accomplished to benefit ourselves. We are a people in need of the light of Christ. We need the baby in the manger.

This truth leads to the second question, do you desire the light? Maybe you’re happy living in the darkness. Maybe you’ve given up on finding the light. Maybe you’ve never been pointed to the light. Here’s what the prophet Isaiah said about the darkness and the light. “But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish…e people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” (Isaiah 9:1,2) What is this light they have seen? Isaiah answers, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Light can be found. When you turn away from a sinful and rebellious way of living through repentance and forgiveness you can grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ and you can walk in the light instead of darkness. Make no mistake, though, the lighted path is not an easy one. But it is a path worth walking.

Christmas is about the light shining in the darkness. The world is in great need of direction, perspective and understanding. The world needs light. Jesus is the light.

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