By Cindy Koch –
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
There was a star in the distance. A heavenly light placed in the sky by the fingers of God. The blazing light of the star pointed to One who breaks the darkness, once and for all on the earth. The shining star highlighted a tiny little Joy to the World, hidden in a stable. He is God; He is man. He is eternal; he is mortal. He is Word; He is flesh. And he is the Light that darkness has not overcome.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. (John 1:9-11)
Strangely, most people in earth did not know this Heavenly light had descended into the world. They didn’t recognize the Hope, Love, or Joy that had become flesh, arriving to change the course of sin and death. Here, the Advent of the Light of the world, only a few misfits had the privilege to witness this mystery.
Dirty shepherds, unbelieving astronomers, a pregnant teenager, an ashamed husband-to-be. This is where the Light entered into our story. Not by high and lofty means, not in amazing and beautiful ways, not in the manner a heavenly Light is expected to shine. Rather, the Light of Light chose to dwell in simple, humiliating, dirty, and shameful places where no one wanted to look.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
Those who dare to bask in the Light which exposes their sin, which guides them to believe in a Savior, which casts a new and warming glow on everything now and to come – they are born of God. Those who receive Jesus as He shines for all – Son of God who takes away the sin of the world, Lamb of God sacrificed for our inclusion in eternal life – they are called the children of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Jesus came to earth. He became flesh and dwelt among us. Yet, Jesus still “advents” with us so that we might see the glory of God the Father, but not in ways that the Heavenly Light is expected to shine. He remains here, active in His eternal word. He comes again and again in simple ways like water, washing away our sin. He is present in mundane things like bread and wine, given and shed for your forgiveness. But finally, on the last day, God and the Lamb will visibly take center stage. The night will be no more, and we will see the light will flow directly from the source. We will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be our only light, and you and I will reign forever and ever.
The first words of God, “let there be light,” were a blessed and peaceful gift. Pure and good, the heavenly light of the sun burst forth in the darkness. At the end of all things, we hear again of His blessed and peaceful gift. Light, brighter than the sun, shining from the smiling face of God. Again, a tranquil relationship with His creatures just as He intended. The Heavenly Light of God gleaming right within our reach. A final proclamation of His Glory, our glory, and ultimate peace: only on account of Jesus Christ.
O God, You did not send Your Son into this world to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved. Grant that we receive with gladness this gift of PEACE offered to us through Jesus Christ. Enable us to cherish our inheritance as Your children at this time of celebration. O let us worship Jesus!