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The Light in the Darkness

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1, 4–5, 9, 14).

There is something striking about when the Church celebrates Christmas each year. It comes in the midst of some of the darkest days that we experience, arriving just after the winter solstice – the longest night. There, in the dark of night, Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ who, as Saint John reminds us, is the true light who shines in the darkness. Such is what our Christmas lights have been pointing to all along, the light that comes to us which no darkness can overcome. Perhaps this is why so many love to gather on Christmas Eve, and with dimmed lights, to hold their candle and sing Silent Night, rejoicing in the “Son of God, love’s pure light.”

Of course, Christmas is not just about the reality of physical light coming into those places where there was once a lack of it. Christmas is about the God who comes to a people who live in the darkness of sin and despair and death, pining for grace to forgive us, hope to cheer us, and life to be renewed within us. Christ comes and shines a light on our condition, not to embarrass us, but to expose what has gone wrong so that we may be made right in Him. And then, His light remains in us, a light that keeps the darkness at bay; a light that is divine life.

This, too, is part of the joy of Christmas as the Word is made flesh and dwells among us. Our Savior comes as a child in Bethlehem, but He does not leave when the lights and decorations are taken down and put away. He does not merely pop in whenever times are dark or guilt and shame creep in to our lives. The Word – Jesus Christ – dwells among us, in us, filling us with grace and truth that overcomes our sin and darkness and death and grants us life in His eternal kingdom of light.

In the darkest time of year, and in the darkest times of our life, Christ dwells among us with His eternal light. Christ, our Savior, is born, and He has come to bring us to the unending light of His glorious kingdom. We rejoice on this Christmas Day, for the Lord has come, bringing His light and heavenly blessing to us, renewing us in faith and life. As the hymn O Holy Night puts it, the birth of Jesus gives us “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices/For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn’.” Christ comes to bring us to that eternal, glorious morning on the Day of Resurrection when darkness shall be banished forever, and light perpetual shall shine on us! Have a blessed Christmas!

Lord Jesus Christ, Light of Life, grant us Your grace and fill us with the radiance of Your glory all our days until we reach Your glorious kingdom to dwell with You in the light of Your presence. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Pastor Noack

LWML Atlantic District Pastoral Counselor

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Sayville

Suffolk Zone


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