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.John 1:4-5 (ESV)
“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.”
LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
Imagine that you are a child once again lying upon your bed. When suddenly, you are stirred awake and notice a strange shadow. As you focus your blurry eyes upon it, your imagination runs wild and you are almost certain that a dark creature is moving towards you. As your heart races, you don’t know whether to lie still, run away or scream.
Then quite unexpectedly, you mom turns on the hallway light, comes into your room and kisses you on the forehead - completely unaware of the immediate relief which has swept over you by the light and her presence.
As you know, children are inherently aware of the dangers which can lurk in the darkness (even if they do let their imaginations run wild). Children are also aware that light or the presence of a loving authority can provide immediate comfort. Verse five from our reading gives us some of that imagery.
Yet, as adults we know that there exists a discomforting darkness which cannot be dealt with by simply turning the on the lights. Whether it comes from external circumstances or our own sin, we know that the weight of deep darkness can lead a person to worry or fear and fester thoughts of anger, hopelessness, or depression. When faced with these grim realities, it can seem as though the darkness has won, or at least is winning.
How then should we, as Christian adults, face the darkness according to John 1?
First, let’s not forget that the disciples, John included, experienced terrifying moments. Consider one night as they traveled across the Sea of Galilee.
A tempest sprang upon them unexpectedly as Jesus slept (Mk 4:37-38). Even those experienced fishermen were worried that their lives would be lost to the ranging storm and the dark waters. Eventually, Jesus calmed the storm by speaking the words, “Peace, be still.”
But more terror awaited them as they approached the shoreline of the Gerasenes. The squeals of unclean pigs would likely have been heard from a distance when two, unclothed, wild, demon-possessed men ran up to them (Mt 8:28).
A life threatening storm and then a sudden attack from the spiritually oppressed! What a night! Fortunately, Jesus was there.
Second, we need reminders that Jesus still does that kind of work today. John 1 tells us again that Jesus is the life and the light which overcomes the darkness.
Yet, perhaps what we struggle with the most is His timing. Life is hard and storm clouds do come, even for the most faithful of disciple. Consider the Apostle Paul’s life. No, Jesus doesn’t always clear the darkness away as we would desire Him too.
Yet, the text reminds us that ultimately the darkness will not overcome Jesus’ light – which is with us even now. If the Lord is our light and our salvation, what or whom shall we fear? By faith in His authority, we can cling Jesus, face the darkness and let His life-giving light guide us into a peace which surpasses understanding.
Lord, thank you for coming as the light to the world. Shine brightly this season. We need it and so does our world. Through Jesus, Amen!