It’s uncomfortable, finding my way in the dark. Memories of stubbed toes and missteps wreck my confidence, and I creep forward, fearing the worst. Darkness seems to hide more ill than good.
The first Christmas was preceded by a period of extended darkness. Darkness of evil, and darkness of ignorance. Despite having been proclaimed God’s “chosen people,” the Jewish nation had lost their independence. In earlier centuries, people called prophets had foretold this dilemma, but they had also shared a promise of hope – a future Savior would save their nation.
But the prophetic voices had been silent for 400 years. Darkness prevailed in Israel. Life was mere existence, hope elusive. In that hopelessness, a group of shepherds on a forsaken hillside tried desperately to find comfort one night. Suddenly, a light appeared, revealing an angel suspended in the sky. The angel spoke, first addressing their fear at seeing such a glorious display. And then, the angel proclaimed the wonderful news: “A Savior is born!”
Another group, this one at the opposite end of the social spectrum, also saw a light. The Magi (or, as we like to call them, “Wise Men”) saw a light in the form of a star that burned brightly. From their studies, they knew the star heralded the birth of a king. Like the shepherds, they also dropped their current responsibilities to find and worship the Savior.
Darkness cannot prevail in the presence of light; light always wins. This is true physically; it is true spiritually. No matter how dark, how hopeless our situation, Jesus is the Light of the world! It is the desperate and the wise who worship him as such. Merry Christmas!