hate candles. Our home has hosted two small fires thanks to candles. If I had
the authority, I’d ban them from the planet—at least until the next power
outage. But a current TV advertisement shows the power of one candle: in pitch blackness
its light is visible beyond the length of several football fields.
promises: “[Israel’s] light has come” to dispel the intense darkness that
covers the earth.John identifies
Jesus as the source of life, “and that life is the light of men.” But although
that “light shines in the darkness,” the darkness “has not understood it,” John
“Has not overcome it,” the last phrase still carries the idea of a concept that
darkness cannot grasp. God’s thoughts are not only higher than ours; His ways
are sufficiently different to be mostly opposite to ours.
condition has reversed God’s vision of the world. The lie that holds the world
in darkness is that power is the final authority; when, in reality, God created
our world for love to be the ultimate ruler.
reverence accorded to Nelson Mandela briefly reminds us, from somewhere beneath
our distorted thinking, that forgiveness and reconciliation, established at the
cross, is the bedrock of human existence. That light will flicker for a while,
until buried anew under human reasoning that cannot understand it.
the content of Jesus’ light, describing Him “full of grace and truth.” John adds
further, it is “from the fullness of His grace we have all received one
blessing after another,” John 1:14 and 16.
characteristic of grace is humility. Jesus’ entry into the world was not in a
blaze of supernatural power, but as a dependent child, born in a cattle shed
and placed in a feeding trough. The darkness, hungry for power, cannot grasp this
form of authority.
is measured by the power it withholds. God measures his grace to us by Messiah’s
humility. His humility is boundless because His omnipotence is ultimate. The wonder
of Christmas is not just God’s amazing gift to us, but the humility of God it portrayed.
[Jesus], being in very
Did not consider
equality with God something to be grasped,
But made Himself
Taking the very nature of a servant,
Being made in human
And being found in
appearance as a man,
He humbled himself
And became obedient to
death—even death on a cross!
cannot understand this light; it is foolishness to it. I’m not sure I can fully
absorb this light either; utterly aware of how short I fall from its example.
But I will rejoice that this unfathomable and unexpected plan of God is already
dispelling our darkness—towards its day of complete erasure.