The Light Shines In The Darkness
In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 From the very beginning the Word was with God. 3 Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. 4 The Word was the source of life,[a] and this life brought light to people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. 6 God sent his messenger, a man named John, 7 who came to tell people about the light, so that all should hear the message and believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came to tell about the light. 9 This was the real light—the light that comes into the world and shines on all people.
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.
The day I write this blog is December 21. The sun rose at 7:21 a.m. It will set at 4:54 p.m. That means the sun will be up for 9 hours, 32 minutes and 52 seconds. On December 20, the sun was up for 9 hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds. On December 22 the sun will be up for 9 hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds. Each day after that, the sun will be up longer and longer until June 21, 2019, when the sun will be up for 14 hours, 46 minutes and 54 seconds. That is a difference of 5 hours, 14 minutes and 2 seconds.
Today is the darkest day of the year.
In the northern hemisphere, Christmas comes during the darkest time of the year. We don’t’ know what month or day Jesus Christ was born. We do know that sometime in the 4th century, Christmas was celebrated on December 25th. Many people believe December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called 'Saturnalia' and 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' (Birthday of the invincible sun) took place in December around this date. It was a time when people already celebrated things.
Whatever the reason, on Christmas Day we celebrate the light of Christ coming into our dark world.
Darkness can be understood in many ways. In addition to meaning a literal lack of light, it can mean dangers, it can mean threats. In the Bible, I believe it means anything that can threaten our relationship with God and with one another.
Jesus came into the world to bring us light. He came to restore our relationship with God. He came to restore our relationships with others. He came to bring us out of the darkness of our own sin.
John calls Jesus the light shining in the darkness. Jesus calls himself the light of the world in John 8. The point is, Jesus saves us from the darkness of the world, the darkness of our own lives.
Have a blessed Christmas.
May the light of the baby at Bethlehem also be your light!
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California