When Jesus spoke to the people again, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:12 (NIV, 1984)
Christmas is the season of lights. Anything that can be used to celebrate the season will be illuminated in some way. Residents will band together and sacrifice the peace and quiet of their entire neighborhood—to say nothing of their own power bills—in order to draw people to their streets to enjoy a celebration of light on every lawn.
Some might see this as a worldly display that is not in keeping with the true spirit of the season. I would respectfully say that they might need to “lighten up” just a tad. While it may be true that illuminated snowflakes, snowmen and Santas have very little to do with the meaning of Christmas, it is a beautiful segue into the importance of the Light that came into the world on a very dark night during a very dark season for the people of Israel. (Remember, it was a command from Caesar that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in the first place.)
While Jesus did in fact fulfill all the prophecies of the coming Messiah in the Old Testament, His arrival meant so much more those of us who have encountered Him in our own moments of darkness. His own declaration of being “the light of the world” was not the third point of a sermon. No, Jesus said those words to the gathered crowd immediately after He had encouraged the women, who was about to be stoned for adultery, to “go and sin no more.”
There are those who claim the Bible is beyond their own understanding. If only they would see that the arrival of Jesus and the Gospel message as a whole was to simply bring light and hope where only darkness and heartache seem to be welcome. The world He came into didn’t get Him any more than our world understands why we try to follow Him. But don’t lose heart, He was—and we are—the light of the world!