The Light Shines in the Darkness (16 December)

In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
John 1:1-5

The first words uttered by God in the Bible resulted in the creation of light. God's first desire was to create light in what was previously a formless, empty, and dark place.

This clearly shows that the light was integral to all that followed in the creation process. The opening words of the gospel of John declare that in the beginning was the Word, and in him was light. This reiterates the importance of light to God, that it should be the light in his Son that breaks through the darkness.

The contrast between light and darkness is stark. The change between day and night is a continuing feature every twenty four hours; no matter where we live in the world, we cannot avoid the regular transition between the light and darkness.

The Bible focuses often, not on the physical darkness, but on the spiritual darkness that consumes the earth. (Isaiah 60:2) describes it as a severe, thick darkness that covers the earth and all the people who inhabit it. The darkness can take many forms as recorded by Isaiah in the previous chapter: sin, injustice, violence, dishonesty, and so the list goes on. The intimation is that there is nowhere where we can escape the darkness.

But there is hope. (John 1:5) confirms that light is more powerful than darkness. Once light has shined into darkness, the darkness must flee.

The only shelter where we can escape spiritual darkness is to dwell with Christ, to allow him to inhabit our very being and essence, all that we are and all that we do. As we do so, others will be drawn to the light. They will not be able to resist the light that radiates from us, if we know Christ. As Isaiah puts it in 60:3, the nations will come to your light. In just the same way, people will be drawn to us as we reflect the light of Christ.

No one likes to sit in a darkened room for very long! In the same way, people who live in darkness, without Christ, will surely not be able to resist his light. And therein lies a responsibility for all who have his light: We must allow it to shine out to those around us who are lost in darkness, so that they too may know the all-powerful light of God.


© 2012 United Bible Societies - Palestinian Bible Society, Bible Society in Israel, and Arab Israeli Bible Society. All rights reserved.