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.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
“‘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?