#633: Silent Night, Holy Night

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Reflections by the Pond
December 9, 2013

Back when God in the Son was crafting what we know to be creation, before everything else, the first thing He created by His first recorded words was light: "Let there be light."

At the very beginning of things the Son of God took from Himself the essence of crystalline light, and in that blindingly glorious beam He transplanted from Himself to His new creation pure, unadulterated, sinless life. And by those two pristine elements man would walk.

But, of course, he didn't. Man chose an alternate path. Instead of light and life, he chose darkness and death.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
'Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

So God let man run with that a while. And, over time, what God called "death" became what man called "living." Over time man forgot that life without God is not life at all, but the darkness of death—estrangement from His light. The one in charge of death helped things along, of course, by clothing himself in the guise of light.

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:14

But man grew content with such a "life," for he had been blinded by the lie. Satan paints himself in light to draw us away from the true light, and toward the true darkness in which he lives.

And man listened, and was beguiled by Satan's beauty. And this is how man lived until the Son came down to His creation, to be born in flesh in a rude shed, cradled, in His infancy, not by golden threads, but by a cold stone depression smeared with cow slobber.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

And now once more, as before in the Garden, the true light was in the world. And what man had been calling "life" would forever be counterfeit, for now the Source was once again in the world. He would now offer the authentic thing to all who would believe: real life, real light.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

John 8:12

Man still had a choice. Christ's life, and the light it would bring to those dwelling in darkness and death, was an offer—not a birthright. Death and darkness were still an option that many would choose. But now, for the first time since that fateful day in the Garden, man could live in hope; not only would there be the promise of eternal paradise with God—a return to that sublime communion once shared in the beginning—but even the believer's earthly sojourn would be illumined by His light and life. No more was man on his own. He now had not only a way out, but a way through.

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light,
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Joseph Mohr

The holy radiance of God was either invisible or lethal to mankind—until Christ. Finally we had a visible, touchable part of God—God without death.

The light of Jesus not only is a light that saves, it is a light that reveals. Jesus reveals God to man through His personality and through his integrity. Jesus manifests the personality of God in flesh.

If darkness represents mystery, bleak foreboding, and evil, then the light of Christ represents revelation, hope, and righteousness. Jesus came into the world not to emphasize the mysteries of God, but to explain them. In Him we have the essential truth of God.

The light of Jesus reveals the truth of God to man, but it also reveals the purpose God intends for men and women who call upon His name. And that purpose is to worship and serve Him. To adore Him.

In the light.