“The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
John 1:9 (NLT)
Do you remember when it was popular for businesses to use the giant search lights to advertise at night? From miles around you could see the moving beams of the search lights cutting through the darkness of the night sky. If you were curious you would follow the beams of light to their origin to find out about the big deal. The lights were so bright that the closer you got to the lights the bigger and brighter the light became. It was truly impressive to see the power of those giant search lights lighting up the sky.
Light has a way of doing that, cutting through the darkness. There is a huge difference between camping in the wilderness on an overcast night and a clear moonlit night. The moon lights up the sky enough to allow you to see thing pretty clearly. I know that if I have to go out in the backyard on a dark overcast night I must have a flashlight. It’s even a little unnerving to walk the grounds of the church at night after all the lights have gone out. You never know what is there since it is hard to see in the dark. We are better able to see in the light of day or a moonlit light. Light exposes what darkness conceals.
In the years before the birth of Christ the world was a place of spiritual darkness. God never left and was still active, but it was a time of no prophets and no direct interaction by God with the people of God. This darkness left them crying out for Messiah, a Savior, to rescue them and restore them to God’s favor. Even though they were crying out and seeking this answer from God it was a silent and dark time for them. The answer had not come.
When John writes his gospel he begins by telling of how God broke into the darkness. He tells of the light that shines in the darkness. A light that darkness cannot extinguish. A light that shines eternally because it is the true light from God. John says this “true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” The long anticipation was about to be over and the Messiah would be born. The light would save those who placed their trust in the Light. Jesus would later say, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
This Sunday is the third week of Advent. We will talk about what it means to walk as a child of the light. We will explore what it takes to walk life’s pathways illuminated by the one true light. We will discuss together the power of the one true light that reveals the way to abundant life. I pray that you will experience the light of the world this week and all through Advent and Christmas. This is an exciting time of anticipation at St. Andrew’s. I can’t wait to see you in church!