Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Darkness and Light

It's that time of the year - when it starts to get dark earlier and stay dark later. I know that there is a logical explanation for it. It is the winter season and the sun is sinking lower in the southern sky. We have set the clocks back one hour to standard time. All of that is part of this time of the year. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier to take. When I go to teach confirmation on Wednesdays, it is already getting dark as the class begins. It wasn't that long ago that the class was getting out and it was still light outside. Saturday night worship begins in the dark. Wasn't long ago it ended and it was still light out.

This is a dark time of the year. November will soon give way to December in which the days will continue to get shorter (until the day when the world ends or winter solstice comes - I am betting on winter solstice). Then the days will begin to lengthen once again. And we move towards a time of more daylight (it might go slowly but at least we know we are going in the "right" direction).

That doesn't change the fact that it is dark at this time of the year. It is dark. have I said that enough? But that is exactly my point. It is dark. I think about that in spiritual terms and know that it is always dark. Sin is always there. Satan is always trying to find someone to devour. Temptation is always going to be at the door, seeking to have us. It is dark spiritually. The world in darkness lay. The world, the people of the world, all creation is lost in the darkness of sin and death. What is the color of "death"? Black. People would think you had stripped a gear if you wore a bright white or light blue outfit to a funeral. You are supposed to be in black because funerals are dark, sad events. You don't sit around and laugh and joke at the funeral of a young man. You are filled with sadness and darkness.

"Thanks Pastor, " I can hear you say. "You have just brought darkness in my day. I was hoping for a good, bright day but you bring all this talk of 'dark' into it and now I find myself down and depressed because life is so dark." You are welcome. Why would I say that?

Because it is precisely at this time of the year, when it is getting so dark and staying so dark that we do something amazing. We bring out the lights! The Christmas lights! We take the dark yard and put lights all around it and suddenly, into that darkness, comes light! Bright light! Colorful light! It is glorious. It is the time of the year when every night you go somewhere (or come from somewhere), you see more lights. The dark landscape is transformed into a the colorful, fun, bright world of Christmas.

Hurrah! The light has come, or should I say, the Light has come! That is precisely the meaning behind Christmas. Into this dark world the Light of lights has come. The Son of God is incarnate and light and life comes into the world. As the Christmas lights brighten the night around us, the Jesus light brightens the darkness of our world of sins and death. We rejoice that true Light, a Light that cannot be put out, has come to us.

As you look around at the Christmas lights, think about how the meaning of Christmas is really so important. Jesus, the Light of the world, is come! He comes to save. He comes to lighten the darkness of our lives of sin and death. He comes to bring us light and life, hope and peace, forgiveness and salvation. Celebrate! Your Light has come!

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