Does it seem like the days seem darker? Do you feel as if there is an extra layer of heaviness descending with each setting sun? Does your morning seem to drag? Do your evenings seem to lag? Has your smile begun to sag?
Right now winter solstice is upon us. It means that this is the time when our days are the darkest. The sun is rising very late and setting very early. The better part of our day is spent in the shadow of night rather than the light of the sun.
The effects are real.
This past Tuesday night during my online class, someone stated this very thing. They honestly said that they felt like the days seem darker than normal. Many agreed.
That phrase has lingered in my mind and has percolated some thoughts.
But before we get to that, I have to say that I am glad to finally be in the ‘hip’ crowd. You see, according to one member of our household, Christmas decorations ought to be up immediately following Remembrance Day. To not have lights strung and stockings hung the day after November 11 seems to be a crime against humanity and everything good and decent in the world. Well, that is how it came across from my middle teenage daughter!
But perhaps she is right. Perhaps we need to bring out the lights.
The Bible tells us that the light of God has come to our world. In John’s gospel we read those very words.
“The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”
John is speaking about Jesus of Nazareth, God’s true light.
Furthermore, John says that the light of God continues to be present despite the world’s dark, hostile reception.
“That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.”
John is telling us that the darkness has not overpowered God’s light. This means that the light of God shines on despite the ongoing presence of evil in the world. Which also means that God’s light continues to shine today so that it can be received now.
There is life in the light.
When John speaks of the Word breaking into the human story, he does not mean that this was simply a historical event for the ancient world. Yes, the historical Jesus is real, but the historical Jesus is not simply a human being of the past. As God, Jesus bring God’s divine life into the human story so that the effects of of God’s abundance life is made available today. In other words, the light that broke into humanity’s past, can still effect humanity’s present.
Sometimes you hear certain phrases expressed by people who have been around individuals highly esteemed. The phrase, ‘we were in the presence of greatness’ can be associated with human beings who have done great things. Oftentimes sports figures, celebrities and people of royalty can receive such accolades.
For me, Wayne Gretzky is often depicted in this manner. But even Wayne is truly not The Great One because Wayne is not able to impact my entire being the way that God can.
This is perhaps the very reason why I follow Jesus. His light pokes holes in the darkness.
Have you ever had dark thoughts? Have you ever had dark talk? Have you ever done dark deeds? Have you ever felt dark needs?
I am sure that we all have had struggles and challenges that seem to lean towards the darkness rather than the light. I know that no matter how hard I try to not do something, I oftentimes do it. It seems as though Paul has read my mind.
“For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do”
I feel like Dave from Storage Wars: Yuuuuup!
Thankfully, God’s light is able to break through and dispel the very darkness that can cloud our thinking and shadow our soul. Somehow, some way, the light of God brings His divine presence and life into the midst of darkness and sends it away. What remains is His good, abundant, nourishing, ever-flowing, beneficial life.
“Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness”
I will end with this.
Ever been driving somewhere and you knew that your arrival would happen well into the evening or early hours of the morning? I have often driven back home to the Ottawa Valley during such times. Generally when talking with my parents about my arrival time, they would often say, ‘We will leave a light on for you’. That simple phrase communicates so many things. Knowing that the light will be left on for me is a significant thing. Knowing that God’s light is left on for you is always a very significant thing.
This is your reminder that God’s light is still on. It shines in the midst of our darkest days. It shines in order to light our way. Jesus is the light of God. He is the light of the world.
He is the life that I need. May His face shine upon you today.