John 1:5a – The light shines in the darkness. (NIV)
Every winter, by late afternoon, darkness claims victory over our daylight hours, motivating us to string multi-coloured Christmas lights that twinkle brightly from decorated houses. Some of us use LED lights that cast luminous patches of reflected colour across the glittering snow. Others add lawn decorations of Christmas trees, snowmen, or manger scenes lit by spotlights.
Unfortunately, using spotlights to push back the night is ineffective, and likewise, our attempts at pushing back spiritual darkness are just as ineffective. No amount of effort will accomplish this, because our inclination to wrongdoing is firmly sequestered inside our souls. Without being aware of it, we were lost in the darkness of sin and needed to be rescued. God provided a way out. He scattered His own unique spiritual light into our sin-darkened world when His Son, Christ Jesus, was born. Angels announced this promised redemption to lowly shepherds amid blazing light that must have turned night into day.
Luke 2:10-14 – But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests." (NIV)
God's antidote to spiritual darkness was this message delivered to startled shepherds by angels hovering above a Judean hillside. Accompanied by angels' songs of praise, God's own unique light scattered their fears, filling them to overflowing with His peace. Thus, they became the first ones to hear the good news that God's answer for sin had been born. Because Jesus would one day be nailed to the cross for the sins of humanity, Christ would conquer sin, and even death itself, by rising on Easter morning. To this day, whenever we turn to Jesus, genuinely sorry about our wrongdoing, then God scatters His own unique light into our hearts, banishing our darkness and filling our souls with peace through the Holy Spirit. Then with lightness of soul, we, too, like the shepherds, can proclaim the good news to all who will listen.
Prayer: God of light, we come to You confessing that, too often, we live in darkness and need to be rescued. We ask that You banish everything that is darkly evil from our lives, and we will give You the praise with joyously overflowing hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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