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light of the world

Photo by Davidson Luna from Unsplash

Photo by Davidson Luna from Unsplash

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”    Isaiah 9:2

I heard a story this past weekend about a man named Bob who had been blind for 51 years. After five decades of walking around in total darkness, dependent upon his other senses to define the world to him, Bob underwent a complicated operation that allowed him to see for the very first time. As you can imagine, he was greatly overwhelmed and had this to say about the gift of sight:

“I never would have dreamed that yellow is so…yellow! I don’t have the words. I am amazed by yellow. But red is my favorite color. I just can’t believe red. I can see the shape of the moon – and I like nothing better than seeing a jet plane fly across the sky leaving a vapor trail. And, of course, sunrises and sunsets. And at night I look at the stars in the sky and the flashing light.”

“You could never know how wonderful everything is.”

We are adaptable people. It is quite miraculous even the way our eyes can adapt to the darkness. Coming into a darkened room from the brightly lit outdoors, it takes only seconds for the iris to expand the pupil as wide as possible in order to let as much light as possible into the eye, allowing us to see in the dark.

However, no eye can see in total darkness. Total darkness means absence of light, the very agent that stimulates sight and allows us to see.

Imagine a life in total darkness.

Truth be told, a life void of Jesus is a life void of light.

Imagine that.

Before Jesus came to dwell on earth, there was great turmoil. There was great spiritual darkness. Life was lived as a person who lives without sight. At the end of chapter 8 in the book of Isaiah, preceding the prophecy of the coming Messiah, we see the after-effects of choices that lead to further darkness.

“Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.” Isaiah 8:22

Honestly, sometimes I look around this world fraught with turmoil, hostility, hatred, and sorrow, and it seems to me that, perhaps, we are falling further and further into utter darkness ourselves.

And yet, even though it seems that the light has been snuffed out, Jesus is still the Light of the world.

A light dawned when Jesus was born.

To those living in darkness a great light has come.

The Gospel of John introduces Jesus as “the true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”

Jesus, himself, declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

When Jesus came, when he entered our broken world, light broke through the blackness and barrenness, and suddenly those who had been blind were able to see: first shapes and shadows, then more clearly, the hope they had been waiting for.

No matter how ugly this world may get, we do not live in total and complete darkness. Those of us who know the Light, who have experienced the Light and felt His warmth illuminate our lives, must shine brightly and boldly to let this Light shine in the dark corners of the world.

There is still hope.

Because Jesus came.

And he is the Light of the world.


God is with us.

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season are the lights. It just seems to me that everything looks more beautiful under the soft glow of Christmas lights. A darkened street city sidewalk feels a little less daunting with trees glowing with tiny white bulbs. Jesus’ birth brought us the light that we so desperately longed for. The darkness was heavy, and then came the promise; this great light that would dispel the darkness. And yet, so many of us choose to remain in the dark. It’s like being given the enormous gift of sight, but choosing to walk around with our eyes closed. How crazy is that!

It takes a little initiative on our parts to choose to open our eyes and allow the light in. To recognize that Jesus is near and God is with us.

The illuminating light may reveal some things we are not too thrilled to accept, but at the same time, much like Bob’s revelation when he received his sight after 51 years of walking in darkness, we may also discover that we never knew how wonderful everything really is.

“What a marvelous light from the midst of dreadful darkness! It is an astounding change such as only God with us could work.” – Charles Spurgeon

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