The Light of Men

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the
life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

It was this passage, found in John 1:1-5, that came to mind as I looked around
the sanctuary this past Sunday evening during the Christmas candlelight service.
The church was pitch-black, almost disturbingly so, had it not been for the hundreds
of tiny candles flickering in one great circle. The glow of the flames gave relief to
the otherwise bleak atmosphere in the room, creating a striking display of the visual contrast between light and darkness.

My mind took a metaphorical turn as I considered this passage in John, and how Jesus is referred to as the Light. What relief the Son of God has given to the grim darkness of our world! In the Old Testament Isaiah refers to a light that is to come, a light that will shine on those who live in a dark land. Jesus Himself testifies to being the Light in John 8:12, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” Yes, the eternal Light has come, awakening the world from its’ nightmare of sin and death.

As I continued to look around this circle of candles, I thought of another truth in Scripture. Jesus not only said that He is the light, He also said that those who believe in Him are lights themselves. Those whom Jesus has saved are one with Him, and are to display the light of Christ to the rest of the world who still lives in darkness. Just as the tiny flames pierced the darkness of the sanctuary, so the good works of believers are to pierce the darkness of the world, “that they may see [their] good works, and glorify [their] Father who is in heaven.”

Upon completion of these ponderings, my attention turned to the words being sung by the congregation. The appropriateness of the lyrics persuaded a tear to fall down my face, and in thankfulness I sang along:

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

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