Christmas is a season of light. Everywhere you look there are lights; in windows, on trees, hanging from houses, lining fences. Lights are everywhere this time of year. Why? Because lights are a symbol of hope. A person lost in a dark cave turns a corner and is relieved to see a ray of sunlight breaking through a crack. A person adrift on a life raft in the middle of the ocean at night is excited when he’s able to say, “I see the light of a ship on the horizon.”
And that is exactly what we need. All around we see people who walk in darkness:
. . . the darkness of depression
. . . the darkness of disease
. . . the darkness of despair
. . . the darkness of doubt
Spiritually speaking, people are living in a world of darkness. We yearn for light to shine into the darkness around us. Advent comes each year reminding us that into our darkness and night radiant beams of holy light have dawned. The prophet Isaiah says it like this, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
That’s the good news! Just when the world most needed God’s light, a babe was born in Bethlehem of Judea. This Sunday as we begin the Advent Season, we will begin a new series of messages exploring the meaning of Christ’s birth as it is explained in the Gospel of John.
That is the first thing that we find is that in the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ the redeeming Light of the World has come. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all people.” (John 1:4) No wonder the star shone so brightly over Bethlehem. Light was coming into our world. No wonder that our Christmas trees and our houses are adorned with hundreds of lights. That’s what Christmas is all about. Light has come into our dark world.