Light burst into the world

Published 8:45 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

Light. Christmas is all about light, isn’t it? We have the lights on the trees, the carolers have their flashlights or their candles, we have the lights in the store displays, and we have those in the homes and on the lawns. But it is also clear from Scripture. Isaiah 9 puts it this way, “the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light, on them the light shines, unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah is prophesying about Jesus, the light shining in the darkness. In the familiar passage from Luke 2 the shepherds are there in the dark, tending their flocks by night, when suddenly the angel appears, “and the glory of the Lord shown round about them,” and they were told unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Savior who is the Messiah, the Lord. Matthew tells us there was a light, a star, which guided the wise men to Bethlehem. The first chapter of the Gospel of John is all about light, the Light, the light of the world, “in him was life and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.” v.4. “He was the true light, which lights all people.” v.9.

Christmas is about light coming into the darkness. Light and dark are opposites, but when light comes into darkness, light always wins. As John says, the darkness could not overcome it. At Christmas, we are celebrating that the light has burst into the world in that little baby. It’s why when artists paint that scene almost always they have light around that manger, a glow or a halo around that baby. Light shows us things and makes things clearer, and the light bursting into the world in that baby, shows us how much God loves us: As John 3:16 puts it: “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever should believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

We tried to snuff out that light. Humanity crucified Jesus, but the light would not die out. Jesus rose again, and the light continues to shine on us. So let Christ’s light be in you, that light which burst into the world two thousand years ago in that little baby. Share that light, shine that light into the shadows, into the dark places of the world and share that light with those around you.

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REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email address is