The first words of the Gospel of John describe Jesus as Word and light. John said, “What came into being in Jesus was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5) Have you ever been in an utterly dark place? I visited Kartchner Caverns in southern Arizona once and the guide turned off the lights while we were deep in the earth. The darkness was complete and oppressive. As hard as I tried to relax, I couldn’t wait for even the tiniest light. It’s not just physical darkness that can make us comfortable. Often spiritual and emotional gloom, one writer called it the “dark night of the soul” are even more painful. It’s amazing though how light even light from a single match can guide us in the dark. This is the image John used to describe Jesus. In a world that is broken in so many ways, in a world where it is so easy to be drawn to unhealthy pursuits and self-absorbed insensitivity we need a guide, a light to lead us to the path of a truly good life. That light not only restores our lives but as the impact of our changes radiate out, it restores the lives of others and of creation – the light of Christ brings salvation. Over the Advent season, many celebrate the dawning of the light of Christ coming into the world through the lighting of the Advent candles. Each week the light becomes brighter. This is my Christmas prayer for each of you – that the light of Christ grows in you week after week, year after year. May you be surprised by his light in the darkness when you need the illumination of divine guidance. And may you and your church reflect Christ’s light in this season and throughout the year.
Happy Advent and Merry Christmas,