Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The True Light

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:9-13).

At the risk of stating the obvious, I'm going to go on record and say that the invention of the electric incandescent light bulb was a big deal. To be certain, mankind had means of creating light before electric lighting, but we weren't truly illuminated until Edison invented the light bulb. For all of human history mankind's productivity was governed by the natural rhythms of day and night. But, with the coming of electricity and the light bulb, man's day was expanded and, as author Mark Steyn puts it, night was abolished. Life post-light bulb would never be the same as it had been.

St. John writes that "the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world," and that is the man about whom John the Baptist testifies. From Adam's Fall through Malachi it's been all spiritual candles and gas lamps, but now, prepare yourself world, the true light is about to be revealed. In Christ Jesus man is given the spiritual equivalent of Edison's electric light bulb. Just as Edison's light had the power to "abolish night" and help to usher in a new age of productivity and human innovation and invention, so Jesus, God in human flesh, has the power to "enlighten all men," and cut through the hitherto impenetrable darkness of sin and death in which mankind was mired.

God promised that he would give this light to man all the way back when our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned and chose darkness, and were expelled from paradise. Through Adam sin and darkness entered and corrupted all of God's perfect creation. Through Christ, however, came life which, St. John writes, was the light of men. Adam and Eve, along with all the faithful from that time until the coming of Jesus in the flesh, would live by the lamplight of faith in God's promise of a savior and redeemer. With the birth of Jesus, God fulfilled his promise to rescue mankind and to crush the serpent's head in a historical context.

Sadly, though Christ came for everyone, not everyone trusts in him. Jesus came to his own people, St. John writes, and they would not receive him as the savior promised to them and described in prophetic scripture. The world which was created by him did not know him, such is the state of rebellion in which the creation stands against it's creator. Yet Jesus, born to a virgin and laid in a manger, heralded by angels and worshiped by shepherds, would go on to atone for the sins of mankind on the cross, and open the kingdom of heaven to all those who believe in him.

Lord Jesus Christ, light of the world which no darkness can overcome, let your light scatter the darkness of sin, death, and the power of Satan by the means of your holy word, and illumine and expand your church.