One of my favorite things for this time of year is the lights that people put up to decorate their houses. Let’s face it, winter time can be a time of darkness. The days get shorter and the nights get longer, not to mention it gets colder. It can be a very depressing time for us. However, when we decorate for Christmas we put up lights. For me, colored lights are my favorite. My family never put up one color, we put up the multi-colored lights. I like to think that having different colored lights helps us to see the beauty that God has created.
Lights are very significant in the Church. For most Churches, Advent is a season of light. It is the season of light coming into the darkness. One of our Advent/Christmas readings for this time of year is John 1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” What an important message for this time of year. We need the Light. We need the Light that brings Life.
During this time of year, we seem to think that darkness rules this world. Not according to God. For God, this is the time of year that we celebrate the Light coming into the darkness to begin the process of overcoming it. For the Advent Season, we light a new candle every Sunday. This past Sunday was the fourth and final candle that we light in Advent. Every candle is a sign of Jesus coming into the world. The fifth and final candle, the white one in the middle of our Advent Wreath, is the Christ candle. We light this on Christmas morning (or Eve) to begin the Christmas Season. Every week the Light grows stronger. Every week the darkness is defeated. This is why I love Christmas lights. They point me to the truth that the Light is overcoming the darkness of the world.
Jesus is the Light. He is the Light of God coming into the darkness of our world. I never understood why people within the Christian faith preach the power of darkness. As if the darkness is getting worse. Our passage above states that the “light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” This is a great hope for us. It means that no matter how dark we think the world is getting, the Light is with us overpowering the darkness. The Light is destroying all darkness and will continue to destroy it until all of creation is renewed. God is not going to destroy the world as some people think. However, through the Light, God is restoring the world.
Maybe you are facing a dark time in your life. A personal tragedy or a family crisis. Maybe cancer seems to plague your life or the life of a loved one. Maybe you are having problems in your relationships or financial problems. Maybe you are just facing life and all that it can throw at you. Take courage!!! God has sent His Light, Jesus Christ, into the world to face these dark times with you. Jesus the Light is with you even in the darkness and is shining light in your life. No matter how bleak your life seems, God is with you, for the Light of the world has broken through the darkness, broken through your darkness. The Light waits, wants, and yearns for you to embrace Him and see the darkness in your life be destroyed.
As the carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Charles Wesley reminds us, “Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new born King!’” May God’s Love surround you this Christmas Season. Happy Advent!!! Merry Christmas!!!