Light in the darkness

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5 NKJV).

There are still many places in the world where there is little or no access to electricity. Even where some electrical power is available it is often insufficient to meet the demand. This results in power rationing, sometimes called “load-shedding” where it is practiced. People there may have periods ranging from an hour or so per day to more than half of the time.

To those of us blessed to live where power is abundant, getting used to long periods of enforced darkness is difficult. Yes, we cope with candles, battery-powered or gas fed lanterns, flashlights, or even by firelight; but to eyes accustomed to 100 watt clear bulbs, those are poor substitutes at best. Generally speaking, our activities are reduced or cease altogether when the lights go off.

It is not without significance that the first recorded act of creation, after bringing the universe into existence, was the command, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Even to an all-seeing God, darkness was a thing to be overcome and placed under control.

Darkness became symbolic of evil and sin. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:5-6). Light is truth, love, and the nature of God. Darkness represents lies, evil, and things of which “It is shameful even to speak of . . . which are done by them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12).

It was to dispel that spiritual darkness that Jesus came into the world as “the light of the world” (John 8:12). He came for every person, no matter how lowly or remote one might be (John 1:9-12).

His light shone brightly in Judea and Galilee some 2,000 years ago as he walked the roads of ancient Palestine in human flesh. His light shines just as brightly today as his message is preached throughout the world (Romans 10:13-17) and as his followers “let [their] light[s] so shine before men, that they may see [their] good works and glorify [their] Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Jesus came to show us God and his will (John 10:21-22). He was and is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) and “the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3). Through him alone we can know God. Through him alone we can find the way to salvation (Acts 4:12). In Jesus there will always be light, so that we need never fear darkness.

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