John 1:1-8: “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”
It’s official: we are fully immersed and engaged in the Christmas season. You may have waited until the day after Thanksgiving to put up your tree or begin tackling the shopping list, but it is all about us now! The radio is playing one holiday hit after another, the e-mail is clogged with chronic sales and promotions, and children are stepping up their begging (I mean, wishing) and good-behaving to a different, more intense level.
I often wonder, as I hear so many who never profess a belief in the Christ of Christmas, if they consciously absorb the message they are declaring through the lyrics to a song. Do they realize they are perpetuating the Gospel as they sing “Christ the Savior is born!” or “Joy to the world! The LORD is come!”? Are they aware they are bringing glory ever due the name of Jesus?
I love how John penned these powerfully clear, concise, and simplistic descriptions of the Messiah who had long been expected and was soon to come. He lined it out perfectly: Jesus was the Word–the plan of God’s salvation for mankind–in the beginning. Jesus was light. Jesus was life. Jesus was of God, with God, and was God.
Even more beautiful is the fact that Jesus is still all those things to us today. Perhaps you find yourself today in a less than idyllic holiday season, one that is wrought with pain, struggle, and what feels or seems like outer darkness. The songs are sung all about you of Hope and Joy, fun-filled times with family, and “home for the holidays”. But you face darkness.
Be encouraged today by John’s words of declaration to all who would come to know Jesus in his day and the generations to follow: In the beginning, Jesus was there, waiting to make His entrance into the outer darkness to bring light. Verse five says, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” The Greek translation of this verse makes it all the more exciting to us! In essence it could be translated “Darkness does not have the ability to suppress or to hold the light under its domain.”*
Yes, these are dark times. Our world is convulsing under the pressure and ramifications of sin. And it doesn’t seem that it will turn around any time soon. But “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King!” Let the Light of the world bring hope to your dark place. I am not the Light but I do bear witness to you and to all whom I daily come in contact with that Jesus–the Word of God, the life of God, the light of men–is here to bring Light to the world and no darkness will be able to suppress this Light’s domain!
Joy to the world, including you!