“In the beginning was the Word…in him was life, and the life was the light of humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…the true light that enlightens everyone has come into the world.” (John 1:1-5,9)
It is very easy to see the darkness that is around us. Our news media continually points to it. But without this “help” we can easily see it for ourselves.
There is personal darkness all around us: Has a loved one died this year? Do you know a person who is undergoing a brutal chemotherapy treatment, or a young adult in treatment for opioid addiction? Someone struggling with depression? A job that is not working out? It can become quite a list…and it is not the “Christmas list” we had in mind. Has darkness overcome us?
There is social and political darkness all around us: It is disturbing to be aware of children living in poverty, without stable homes, going to ruined and chaotic schools, surrounded by violence in the streets. We are deeply unsettled by violence unleased by mentally disturbed and embittered people and by political terrorists. We are exhausted and disgusted by the endless, unproductive and largely self-serving political power plays in human government. Has darkness overcome?
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, be encouraged as we draw near to Christmas this year. If you look, you will see the light of Christ. Christ has not been overcome.
Listen: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth; we have seen his glory…and from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:14,16)
This is not a make-believe “fairy tale.” It really is true that Christ has come into our troubled world. Since this coming, men, women, and children have welcomed, honored, and loved Christ until this day. In every generation, people have witnessed to this true light…and that witness continues even and especially where it is most dark.
YOU have been that light as you have visited, and prayed, and listened, and cared for your family, your friends, your co-workers, or for a stranger at the store. YOU have been an expression of that true light when you have helped us give shelter to women and children, give food to the hungry, or school supplies and tuition to youth who would otherwise have none.
YOU have worshipped and proclaimed the light of Christ in song and prayer. YOU have shared Christ with others. If you feel small and insignificant and the very real darkness threatens to overwhelm you, look at a Christmas tree. Imagine you are simply one of the tiny lights – perhaps not so much by yourself. But you are linked to others – and not just locally – you are linked to a multitude of people. Our lights together proclaim that the light of Christ is in the world, and the darkness has not overcome it.
A blessed Christmas to YOU!
~ Dave Robinson †