In the beginning, after God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was said to be formless and desolate. The water that covered was engulfed in total darkness, but the Spirit of God was moving. The first words we hear our Creator utter are these, “Let there be light.” and God was pleased with what He saw. The first time we observe our Creator act within the Genesis text He is creating light from dark. God separated light from dark. God loves light! God designed us to live in the light. Light is God’s chosen tool to remove us from darkness.
From the beginning, He intended light and dark to be separated. Scripture informs us in John 3:16 – 21 that “The Light” , i.e. Jesus, came into the world as a demonstration of God’s love. In John 8:12 Jesus affirms that He is the “Light of the World” and men do not ever need to walk in darkness. In John 14:6 we read that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.” As we cross reference this verse with John 8:12 we see that life and light are inseparable. Whoever follows Jesus will not stumble about in darkness, but will be able to follow a lighted path to the source of life.
We live in the reality that there are both light and darkness around us at all times. This world is comprised of both good and evil, right and wrong. On any given day we are inundated with temptation, lies and darkness. And unfortunately, Scripture affirms in John 3:19 “that men love darkness rather than light because darkness hides their evil choices.” In and of ourselves, we have no light. Left to our own devices, we would live our entire lives in darkness, void of the abundance of joy and peace available to us in God. But in the person of Jesus a powerful hope has entered into the story of humanity. Matthew 4:16 says, “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” You and I have a choice to fill our lives with the light of God. We’re delivered from a life marked by darkness and set free to fill ourselves with the things of God.
In that Bethlehem stable the light appeared, but we have a real enemy trying to draw us back to the darkness at every turn. It’s for this reason Jesus said in Luke 11:34, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.” Darkness is often only tempting to look at because we have yet to experience the immense satisfaction found in the light.
The path out of darkness always begins by looking to the light. We cannot escape darkness if darkness is all we’re looking toward. We can’t escape sin by just focusing on it and trying to fix it, heal it, or set ourselves free. Freedom comes by turning our attention to the God who conquered sin and death and fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. We must allow God’s light to transform us into reflections of His Son. As men are increasingly exposed to the light of Jesus they no longer desire to walk in darkness, but choose the path that God designed for them; a path filled with light and life.
As Christ-Followers, it is our mission to shine the light in a dark world; to show that light and life is found in the person of Christ. All throughout Scripture, God reiterates this consistent, powerful metaphor: light and darkness. Scripture depicts the darkness as that which is without God and light as that which has God in it. Ephesians 5:8 says we are “children of light” and it is God’s design for us to walk in the light. This is the message of Christmas…light returned to a dark world enslaved in sin and men no longer need to walk in darkness. It is an INTENTIONAL choice!