These are depressing times aren’t they? I wonder if, like me, your Christmas plans were thrown out of the window yesterday. I can’t believe I live in a country that has legalised the separation of family at Christmas time, even though I understand the reasons why. As I say, it’s very depressing and it’s like a darkness has fallen upon us. Let’s not despair though. Let’s grasp again what Christmas is supposed to be about. The Old Testament contains some wonderful words,

“The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness

a light has dawned.” (1)

There you have it. People living in darkness, dark times, a dark world, and then a light shines so bright that darkness couldn’t overcome it. Those Old Testament words are repeated in the New Testament, in Matthew 4, where their explanation is given. The light is Jesus who has gone to live in a town called Capernaum, where people walked in darkness. Jesus was a light that could not be overcome.

Jesus is the light of the world. He entered our darkness 2000 years ago, as a baby whose first bed was a manger, a trough designed to hold animal fodder. The first couple of years of his life were spent as a refugee in Egypt. Returning to his homeland he lived a poor life sharing a home with Mary, Joseph and their children. We can be sure that Joseph looked after him well but we must never forget that Joseph wasn’t his father. Jesus is the Son of God, conceived when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary. No one has any idea how that could happen, but if God says that’s how his son was born then that’s how his son was born.

I love the story of the shepherds on the hillside,

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” (3)

Outside on a dark night, minding their own business, when an angel appears with amazing news, followed by a host of praising angels. Can you imagine how the dark sky lit up when these heavenly angels appeared? It happened on the night the light of the world was born, the night the light shone in the darkness.

The darkness could not overcome him, and it never has. Jesus the light of the world still shines bright as the Saviour of the World and the great hope for mankind.

Since it’s Christmas next week I’ll be taking a week off from writing blogs. I will be back soon though. Have a wonderful Christmas and keep your focus on the one whose birth we celebrate.

 

 

Bible References:

  • Isaiah 9:2
  • John 1:1-5
  • Luke 2:8-14