“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
The earliest recorded words of God are those of His first creative act. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The light would have blazed out through the darkness that was over ‘the surface of the deep’ in a glorious revelation of the power, splendour and majesty of God. Life was on the way.
Much later, when the darkness of sin and separation from God had covered the earth, the light of God came forth in a new way. This time God’s Word became flesh in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:9) He came as the revelation of the glory, power and love of God. New life was on the way.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
On those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned”
This light is a revelation of God. This light reveals the darkness even as it dispels it. This light is the light of truth compared to the darkness of error; it is the light of purity against the darkness of evil; it is the light of righteousness not the darkness of sin; it is the light of revelation not the darkness of ignorance; it is the light of understanding not the darkness of foolishness; it is the light of love not the darkness of selfishness; it is the light of belonging not the darkness of loneliness; it is the light of hope not the darkness of despair; it is the light of life not the darkness of death. However,
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)
But, for those who would see, Christ is the Light – ‘by baptism into Christ you pass from darkness into light.’ He is the Giver of Light – and the Light that leads, the Light that cleanses, the Light that heals and the Light that restores. And so powerful, cleansing and life-giving is the Light of Christ that, where it can shine in its fullness, it is as if the darkness never was! Such too is the completeness of God’s forgiveness.
Christ alone is the Light and God’s Word leads us into His Light. However beautiful and insightful the words of men may seem to be they are only a pale shadow of the truth and beauty of the Word of God Himself. For, as Henri Nouwen reminds us, only ‘God’s word is full of God’s presence.’
There is no light or life without Christ – either in this world or the next. Walk very closely with Him. Soak in His Word.
Lord Jesus, please shine the Light of Your life and love more fully into my life. Help me to walk in Your light and trust in Your love. Amen.