#687: Shadows & Light



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Reflections by the Pond
December 22, 2014

The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.

Isaiah 9:2

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Who can argue that this world does not remain in darkness? Who among us can make the case that humanity has finally "seen the light" and emerged from the shadows? For a simple, unembellished recitation of each day's headlines borders on the pornographic: terroristic violence of unimaginable depravity; vast swathes of humanity rising up in arms over something provably a lie; corruption and duplicity brazenly paraded by national leaders; perverse sexuality forced, even legislated into the norm.

We still live in a world that grows darker by the day.

° ° °

The Godhead knows all about darkness, and since before there was man, before there was even time, it had devised a solution.

Light.

But just because people see a light there is no guarantee they will embrace it. Darkness is a powerful force in the human spirit, and its true depths can be almost impenetrable. Knowing full well the heart of man, God did it anyway: He sent Light in the form of His Son.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

God's impetus for this act was not blind, unrealistic optimism; He is not a Pollyanna, but a realist. God did it not because of His faith in the goodness of people.

He did it out of love.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

John 3:16

Why, then, is the world still draped in darkness? Jesus said it Himself.

"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

John 3:19-20

Jesus arrived on that night so very long ago to crack open the gates of Heaven so that the true Light—the glory of God—would be available to all who would believe. The star that pointed the way to the manger was instantly overwhelmed by the blinding glory of God. By faith the Light pierces the heretofore impenetrable darkness to first reveal sin, then forgive it.

Oh, that the world would see beyond the pain of that initial revealing of sin, to the wonder and joy that follows in the forgiveness.

Christmas is the beginning of Christ's story on earth, but perhaps more than that it represents the beginning of our life with Him. In the light of His salvation Christ holds out His hand to a fallen race dwelling in the shadows.

And those who take His hand enjoy the promise of dwelling forever in the light of His glory.

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