They can make the darkest night beautiful.
They can be one color or many. Twinkle or stare down the dark. They wrap around trees and homes, and bring cheer to a heart grieving–for a moment at least. They are Christmas lights.
Our world celebrates Christmas in a lot of crazy ways that can take away our focus on Jesus. And some Christmas light displays surely don’t represent a holy night, but there is something about the lights. It’s more than how they turn a home into a gingerbread house or palm trees into fountains of light. How the candles in windows give houses that welcoming appeal or how my banisters glisten with garland lit.
Light does more than please my eyes and light up the dark. Light reaches down into my soul. And if a few bulbs on a simple strand of Christmas lights can do that, how much more can the One who is called the Light of the World affect us?
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 (John 1:4,5).
What does it mean for the “life” in Jesus to be the “light” of all mankind? What does is mean that the darkness could not overcome the “light?”
I’m so glad you asked. :)
The Greek word for “light” is Photizo. It means to enlighten, shine light upon, to illuminate, make one see or understand. It is contrasted to another Greek word that also means light, Phengos, but this word means luminaries like the moon or sun. So, the light of Jesus is a spiritual light that brings revelation, clarity, and understanding.
The NIV translates verse five that “the darkness has not overcome” the light. But I want to show you a secret. Peak under our English with me. The Greek word translated here has a few different meanings: to take–to apprehend, to find, comprehend, understand.
I think that if John wrote in our day using modern colloquialisms, he would’ve penned: The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness hasn’t gotten it. It can’t understand the light of understanding. The darkness doesn’t “get” God and His goodness, kindness, love, mercy, and grace in Jesus.
Do you have someone in your life who doesn’t “get” your faith?
I’m hoping we all have someone like that because if we don’t, we’re not going out into the dark enough. Christmas lights don’t shine well during the day. They shine in the darkness.[bctt tweet=”Lights don’t shine well during the day. They shine in the darkness. #shine” username=”wordsbyandylee”]
I feel a prayer coming on . . .grab my hands.
“Dear Light of the World, open the hearts and minds of our loved ones and friends who don’t get it. Shine your light of understanding on them! And help us shine brightly in dark places. By the grace of God and the Presence of Holy Spirit, help those in darkness take a hold of you for themselves. May your light in us stir their hearts. I pray they’ll want the light. We love you. Amen.”
What’s your favorite part of our Christmas traditions?