Darkness, discouragement, and despair permeate life on earth. 2020 has been a year in which everyone has been compelled to consider whether or not there is a reality beyond what we see. We observe and experience heart-wrenching brokenness, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional. Our hearts cannot accept that this reality is all there is. Things are not supposed to be this way.
Those who adhere to the Christian worldview affirm that there is brokenness in the world as a result of the Fall of humanity into sin. Christians affirm that the Messiah has come to “bid all oppression and sad divisions cease”. Christian hope is not a wish dream for some future day. It is hope for today and the future. Christian hope is depicted in the pages of the Old Testament and culminated in the person and work of Jesus the Messiah. Though darkness and discouragement characterize 2020, there is a wonderful Beacon of Hope, a Lighthouse shinning across the dark sea. The light in the darkness is none other that Jesus, the reason for Christmas.
Jesus referred to himself as the Light of the world. (John 8:12) We can trust his word as true because he was exactly who he claimed to be as demonstrated through his many signs. The most important reason we trust Jesus is because he rose after his sacrificial death. The resurrection of Jesus verifies his claim to be the Son of God. (Jamie Dew reminded me of this important apologetic defense for the faith this week as I read How Do We Know.)
Friends, even though darkness has invaded our world, today we celebrate Jesus, the Light of the world. The verse I shared in the featured image above is remarkable. John opens his Gospel by pointing to the reality that even though the darkness tried, it could not overcome. That’s a fascinating way to look back in order to look forward. John tells us how the story ends before he tells the story.
We celebrate Jesus today even though our celebrations will look different than they have in years past. I’ll admit it. Yesterday when I got off work I was sad. I was supposed to travel to Alabama to be with family. I was sad about the hardship we have all experienced this year. I felt slightly overwhelmed by the darkness, yet I was reminded that the brightest Star shines in the darkness. Jesus is the Daystar! I shared the following about the Daystar on social media earlier this month.
Sure, it has been a dark year but I am encouraged this Christmas as I reflect on the amazing clarity and moving truth that the Light has come. The darkness of this world points us to our greater and even truer reality, the reality of the Messiah’s kingdom. In the Messiah’s kingdom, there will be no more death and darkness. Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
May Jesus, Immanuel dispel the shadows of night as the great hymn reminds us!
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
Merry Christmas! I am thankful for each of you, dear readers. My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will experience the Messiah’s light and peace through a relationship with Him and that our world will acknowledge the Dawning Light in the darkness, the Waymaker.