“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John1:1-5
Darkness never overcomes light. Walk into a dark room, turn on a light, and instantly the darkness is gone. There is no great battle where darkness might actually push back the light. Where light is shining, there is no darkness. In fact, darkness takes its definition from light. It is the absence of light. Light, however, is not the absence of darkness. The relationship between light and darkness is all about the light.
I recently took a nasty fall because I tried to navigate our Worship Center at night, in the dark. I’ve walked there in darkness before and felt confident I could do it again. Unfortunately, I forgot that we rearranged the platform for our children’s Christmas program, and was completely surprised to find myself tripping over it. The first question everyone asked me was, “Why didn’t you turn a light on?” It is a very reasonable question. The act of throwing a switch would have prevented all the bumps, cuts, and bruises that I received. You can be sure I will not try that again.
Notice, though, that nobody said, “Wow, it’s too bad the darkness held back the light and prevented you from seeing the staging obstacle before you fell over it.” That’s because it is clear that the darkness did not prevent the light from illuminating my path. I failed to let the light dispel the darkness. Sound familiar?
John makes it clear that the eternal Word, Jesus Christ, was born into our world to be the Light of the world. Even more importantly, he reminds us that what is true for physical light is also true for spiritual light – the darkness does not overcome it! It is easy in a world full of evil, injustice, and negativity to believe that darkness is winning. We may even be tempted to think it has already won. Fortunately, that is a lie the darkness tells to keep us from seeking the Light and letting him shine through us into every dark corner of the world.
Darkness cannot hide from the light, and it cannot overcome it. Despite its best efforts to deceive us, the truth remains – victory belongs to the light!
As we continue to celebrate the wonder of Christmas, we must not forget the radical truth that Jesus did not come into the world to merely be a nice person with some kind thoughts and words about love. No, Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, to destroy the works of the devil, and to lead the world into the ever increasing light of his glory!
Christmas is so much more than a sentimental story of a baby. It is a radical declaration that the kingdom of light has come, and it is time for the darkness to flee!