Christmas, God, Identity, Intentional Living, Uncategorized

Light: Light in the Darkness

Christmas Star

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

As we head into the Christmas season, it’s so easy to see the darkness in our world . . . terrorists claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent people, like in Paris a few weeks ago . . . mass shootings here in the States, false religions drawing people into their belief systems. Commercialism claims the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

lightning night sky

People yearn for what material goods cannot provide. Oh sure, the newest gaming system will satisfy our kids for a little while. Having the latest tech feels cool . . . for a little while. But then, it becomes another thing we have to take care of. The newest clothing styles make women feel pretty, superior, “with-it.”

Until the latest styles are out-of-style. Then, there’s the push to buy more clothes.

When we allow our identities to be formed by material things, we sell ourselves short. We end up living in the dark place of “less-than.”

Boardwalk at night

When we see the carnality on television and in movies, it’s so easy to see the darkness that has crept into our world. We view the violence on television shows. The ways false religion has woven beliefs that are contrary to God’s word into the media we consume . . . it can leave us feeling the darkness of discouragement inside.

At times, it seems like darkness’ shadow grows and deepens on our world.

And yet, Jesus.

Sunbeams under clouds

In John 1:4-5 He reminds us, “In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Jesus’ birth was a small ray of light, bringing hope to a dark world, not so unlike our own current darkness. His life was an uncompromising bright ray of light, shining God’s love for His creation through every word He spoke. Every act of compassion He performed.

And where the light is, darkness flees. Sure, darkness is fighting back in our world today, just like it did in Jesus’ day.

1 Jn 2-8 copy

1 John 2:8 says, “On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him, and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Jesus’ light has shone through His believers since His time here on earth. Yes, the darkness tries to extinguish it. . .

. . . Through persecution,

. . . through trying to kill the little flames of light that spark within people when they embrace His gospel.

But, light always chases darkness away.

Fireworks night sky

And in our world today, darkness attempts to gain ground through encouraging people to focus on themselves. It tries to persuade us that we can find satisfaction in ourselves and in the outer things we can buy. It lies to us, saying we are enough in and of ourselves. Without God, without Jesus’ light sparking within us.

Evening light

There’s a dark place within each person, longing for light. Longing to know the only Love which satisfies.

Let’s remember to shine Jesus’ light into the world around us. No matter how darkness tries to discourage us from shining, God’s light—His love, His Son—can chase the darkness away. Even if only an inch at a time.

Maybe we can be a ray of light through a smile at a store clerk. We can offer an act of kindness that shows caring to a stranger.

Lights on clouds

Let’s remember Jesus is the light of the world. We can help chase darkness away by loving like He does.

As we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas, let’s remember Whose light chases the darkness away. Let’s remember what we’re really celebrating: Jesus’ coming to the world, shining light into the darkness. Revealing God’s love to a darkened world.

christmas eve candle

“‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.’” John 3:16-17

What about you? How are you preparing your hearts for Christmas? How can you be light in the world around you? 

I’m linked up with Purposeful Faith and Holly Barrett today! Stop by and read some other wonderful blogs.

Holly Barrett

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15 thoughts on “Light: Light in the Darkness”

  1. Lovely, hopeful post, jeanne. You brought tears to my eyes.

    I’ve always lived by a rather harsher paradigm…for me, the phrase “it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness” translates to “Illuminate, and fire for effect”.

    Meaning’s probably pretty clear. Sometimes the only way to light up the darkness is, in parlance that post-dates me by a few years, to “light it up”.

    I figure that innocence is important, and ammo’s cheap.

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    1. Andrew, your perspective makes sense. I think we see light, somewhat through the context of our own experiences. And, when we purposely look to Jesus, we can see His light as well. 🙂 Innocence IS important, and you are a great defender of the innocent. So thankful for you.

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    1. That was my favorite song as a girl, Shelli. When I received my first communion, someone gave me a record (of the vinyl variety) with that song on it. I would listen to it over and over. 🙂

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  2. Such a beautiful post, Jeanne. And one I needed to read. This especially: “No matter how darkness tries to discourage us from shining, God’s light—His love, His Son—can chase the darkness away. Even if only an inch at a time.” I so easily let myself take on the same mood of others, instead of stepping back and remaining calm.

    I’ve never had the pull of commercialism (I think that’s maybe because it’s not such a big thing in either the Netherlands or New Zealand), but the being the light in the darkness really spoke to me. Thank you.

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    1. Anna, I find it easy to take on and be affected by others’ moods too. Learning how to be a responder and not a reactor has been a challenge for me. 🙂

      You’re fortunate to not have as much of an emphasis on commercialism thrust upon you and your children. It’s a challenge here in the States. We’ve been gifted with so much, yet for many, it’s not enough. It’s all about perspective, I’m thinking. Thank you so, so much for stopping by!

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      1. Oh yes, perspective: I’ve been thinking aboutthe need for a Heavenly perspective in grief…Love the way you put this: responder vs reactor…going to remember that one!

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  3. Jeanne, that “dark place of less-than” reminded me of my boys back when Star Wars was big the first time. Every action figure came in a package that pictured all available action figures. I realized that every time one of the boys got a new action figure, they’d turn the package over and say, “I don’t have this one, I don’t have this one, I don’t have this one.” I saw how that sucked out all gratitude for the new gift. I finally had enough of it and declared, “No new figures! No new spaceships. From here on, you work with what you have.” And there began our crazy space station, a collection of shoe boxes connected by paper towel tubes, a box appropriately decorated for every space activity, assembled and re-assembled, endlessly renovated and continuously expanded. I apologized as a visiting caseworker stepped carefully over the monstrosity. “Don’t you ever apologize for this display of imagination!” she scolded.

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    1. Buy guys have dealt with that same sickness . . . “I need ALL the figures for that set . . . ” Our culture has a way of always showing us we need more. You were a wise mama to put a stop to “more.” I love what your kids came up with and what they used. I bet that case worker loved seeing the creativity that grew in your home. 🙂

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  4. Love this. As we light two candles this week for Advent, the light slowly gets stronger. We turn out the lights at dinner and our small candles are such a reminder that the light is growing – thank God.

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    1. Nichole, I was really struck last year at our Christmas Eve service when one candle noticeably brightened the darkness. I can see how light and dark make for good analogies when writing about chronic illness. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  5. This year more than ever before I believe we all need to remember the light! Only Jesus has the answer to this present darkness! O Silent Night where the star shone ever so bright! Shine Jesus in our world today; He is within us, so the light comes through us.

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