December 22, 2014
As Christmas draws near, we rejoice that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reigns! King Jesus heralded the Kingdom of God and everything that comes with it. We’ve spent the past four weeks talking about the ways in which Jesus meets us in our lives and ministries. This week, in our final devotional of the series, we reflect on Christ as the light of our world.
by Rev. Darwin Stahl (M.Div., 1970)
Retired North American Baptist Pastor, Hawley, MN
The Holy Scriptures begin and end with light. God’s first word called forth light within the primeval darkness (Genesis 1:3). At the end of the ages, the new heaven and earth will not need sun or moon, for the glory of God will be its light and (Jesus Christ) the Lamb will be its lamp (Revelation 21-22). Both the New and Old Testaments declare that God’s nature is light. “God is light, in him there is no darkness” (John 1:1). “The Lord is my light and my salvation” (Psalm 27:1). Within the fullness of time, God fulfilled his promises to send his own presence and light which would offer redemption to a dark and sinful world. “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16).
God’s promise to come to be with us (Isaiah 7:14) was miraculously and wonderfully fulfilled in Immanuel, the Holy Spirit-conceived and virgin-born baby Jesus of Bethlehem. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory (light)—the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Therefore, Jesus could testify of himself that he was the “Light of the World.” This light is shared with his Heavenly Father and reveals to our world who he is and who his Father is. “I and the Father are one . . . anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father” (John 10:30; 14:11). C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not only because I see it, but because by it all things are seen.”
Light also scatters the darkness (sin, spiritual blindness, death) and gives life. That’s why Jesus said, “…whoever follows (trusts and obeys) me, will never walk in darkness but have the light of life (new birth and eternal life in Christ and his loving and sovereign guidance)” (John 8:12). This Christmas Day, let us praise and thank God for his indescribable gift of “Light” to redeem our dark and troubled world.
Prayer: God and Savior, we offer our joy-filled thanksgiving for the gift of yourself to us through your Son, the Christ-child. Help us to reflect Christ’s love-light to the world around us. Amen.