Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Light of the World

I have knocked off my feet for the last few weeks by a very nasty flu (as if there is a benign version of it?). I am now just recovering, and grateful to be back among the living.

I live in Idaho, and in the winter, light is a rare commodity.  The sun sinks low and then disappears all too quickly; the light of day is rather diffused, gray and soft.  There are no sharp shadows or harsh lines between where sunlight falls and where it doesn't--it is truly shades of white gray, dark gray and blue gray.

In church on Sunday, we sang "O, Holy Night" and our pastor emphasized the line, "and the soul felt its worth."  What follows quickly on that line is the breaking of a "new and glorious morn."

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

In other words, light.  But in order to redeem the dark, He must enter that dark.  Think about it:  He was born in a stable, and did Mary and Joseph have candles?  I doubt it.  The star had to provide the light--in other words, God brought through the doorway to the stable His own light, to illuminate the darkness therein.

All the magi had was the star and its light--for night in a desert is profoundly dark.

All the shepherds had was the light of the angels, dancing above them in joyous abandon.

After that night, more darkness--the babies slaughtered by a demented king, and then the flight into Egypt.  More darkness:  a little family holed up in a pagan land, fearful that any day they might be found.

Finally, He is betrayed at night--by a friend, no less.  Darkness again.

The Father provided no star to pierce the darkness as His Son died on the cross.  It was dark.  But Christ redeemed the dark when His light, the light of overcoming death and breathing anew, chased the darkness away and the stone, shoved to one side, had to let the light of Easter morning reach in and illuminate all it touched.

Christ walked in the darkest of dark:  death, abandonment, pain, agony...words are so helpless here before the enormity of the darkness He experienced.

Yet, He is now bathed in light--the Book of Revelation reminds us of this fact.  The darkness cannot now nor never will, overcome the One Who is truly the Light of the World.  

Even in our darkest winter, where gray and darkness threaten to overcome us, we look and see a new and glorious morn is breaking, all because of that Holy Night.

Merry Christmas, friends.

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