“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” – John, the apostle
Light is a fundamental feature of the work our God is doing in the world. Light is a metaphor for our God, indicating purity and righteousness. It is not that He possesses light or is a source of light. He is light. Light is part of who our God is. He is pure light, completely holy, free from any sin, evil, injustice, dishonesty, unfaithfulness. Thus, the light that Jesus brought into the world with His advent is the light that is God Himself. Our God as light and life has invaded our time and space. What does that mean for those of us living in this world?
John 1:1-9 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.”
A literal translation of John 1:5 reads, “And the light keeps on shining, it continually shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it or overcome it.” The light did not stop shining when Jesus left the earth. It is still shining today through His followers, the “ekklesia” (called-out ones). Jesus was the incarnation of the light of our God, and He committed the work of incarnating that light to his followers. Sadly, many of those who claim to be followers do not live or walk in the light as Jesus is in the light.
“The fundamental principle of Christianity is to be what God is, and he is light.” – John Hagee
The light of God that was in Jesus is our true life, for the life of the true disciple is in truth the life of Jesus Himself, lived in us by His Holy Spirit. Verse 4 tells us that “…in Him was life, and the life was the light of all the people.” “Life” here is from the Greek, “zoe,” meaning both physical and spiritual life, extending to eternity. This is the life that is the source of all life, the life principle and energy that extends from our God’s self-existent life. It is this eternal life of God that He offers to us that is the light of all the people. On this light, this life is based all claims to hope, joy, peace, salvation, redemption, communion with our God, and everything else that is the work of our God in us.
“Christianity is a daily supernatural experience with your Father God, not a set of rules” – Robin Bremer
Jesus did not come only to the religious elite, nor did he come to reveal light to a single nation or culture. This light is the Word of God that became flesh in the incarnation of Jesus, and it is for all peoples. With the advent of Jesus our Savior, a new era of light dawned on the earth, a new kingdom of light. If we do not have this light, we do not know God, for only those who know God and walk by His Spirit are the true light and walk in the light.
At Christmastide, we celebrate the light that has come into the world to illumine us all, and the Kingdom of Light our God ushered into existence. It is the Kingdom of the light of our God. Isaiah the prophet wrote, “Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” To walk in the light of the Lord is to walk as His called-out ones, His true followers. And the Apostle Paul wrote “For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light.” To add to these glad tidings is the fact that it is the Spirit of Christ in us who intends to live this light through us as we yield to His control. Now that is a gift worth celebrating!
This is the gift we celebrate in the advent of our Savior, the incarnation of the light of God among us and now within us. How amazing it is that we have been invited to share in His kingdom of light, to share in His very life. May we all walk in the light as Jesus Christ Himself is in the light, and may we enjoy the most intimate fellowship with Him and with other light-walkers every day. May Christmas appear in and through you each day of the coming new year.
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12