The Light Shines in the Darkness
The Christmas story is filled with contrasts and extremes. On one hand Christ' birth brought some extreme joy, while others were filled with terror. One of my favorite opening sentences in all of literature is from Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
What a great impact was made when the One who is the Light entered our world as a man. To those shepherds, wise men, and others like Simeon who welcomed and sought after the LIGHT OF THE WORLD there is celebration and worship. To those like Herod the Great, the LIGHT exposes their dark deeds. They do not want the Light and they attempt to extinguish the Light at every opportunity. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1:4-5 (NIV)
What a difference it makes in our lives that Jesus Christ came and died for our sins! And what a difference it will make in the world when He comes to sit on David's throne to rule righteously! “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) Jesus is the light in the darkness and he is the Life that overcomes death. He is also the difference between joy and sorrow, freedom and bondage. As we wait for His return, let us be sure that we are walking in the light. Let Him be to us all that His name proclaims. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NLT) Every name that He has represents a blessing that He desires to give to us.
The Lord Jesus whom we exalt at Christmas is not just a baby in a manger. He is not a character in a children's story. He is far more.
- The first time He came, a star marked His arrival. The next time He comes, heaven will roll up like a scroll and He will light the sky.
- The first time He came, the wise men and shepherds brought Him gifts. When He comes again, He will bring rewards for His own.
- The first time He came, there was no room for Him. The next time He comes, the whole world will not be able to contain His glory.
- The first time He came, only a few attended His arrival. The next time He comes, every eye shall see Him.
- The first time He came, he came humbly as a child. The next time he comes, and I believe it could be very soon, He will come triumphant, and it will be abundantly clear to the entire world that he is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Remember, for some the appearance of Jesus signals the best of times. And yet for others, who view it as an intrusion into their lives, it is the worst of times. Will that day be the best of times or the worst of times for you?