One dark and ominous night during World War II, a US aircraft carrier was plowing through heavy seas in the South Pacific. All lights were out because of enemy submarines. One plane was missing. Somewhere in that pitch-black sky it was circling in a seemingly futile search for the carrier – its only landing place, its only hope of not being swallowed up by the giant ocean. The ship’s captain, knowing the terrible risk involved, gave the order, “Light up the ship.” Soon the plane zoomed onto the deck like a homing pigeon.
At Bethlehem, knowing the risk, God gave the command, “Light up the world.” Then Jesus was born. A new and radiant light began to shine, pushing back the darkness of the world, of spiritual ignorance, and of sin and despair. Like a ship lit up in an otherwise darkened sea of sinful humanity, Christ came as “the light of the world” (John 8:12). John wrote, “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). When Jesus the Saviour entered this world, it was like the sunrise breaking radiantly over the horizon of human history (Luke 1:78-79).
In fathomless grace, God allowed His Son to die on the cross to save us from eternal darkness. What a blessed message for Christmas – and every day of the year! Without the light of Jesus, we would be in the dark about God.
1 John 2:7-11
The Light of the world
“Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”