The Light Shines in the Darkness

by Lowell Chilton



In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word and without the Word not one thing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. [1]

The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world did not recognize the light.

Photo by Zoonar RF/Zoonar / Getty Images

In the Beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth – the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the water – God said, “Let there be light”. [2]

The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world did not recognize the light.

During the time of the Exodus from Egypt, the Lord went in front of the people during the day in a column of cloud to guide them and at night in a column of lightning and never left their side. [3]

The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world did not recognize the light.

From Proverbs: The Word was beside God as a master of crafts. The Word was having fun, smiling before God all the time, frolicking with God’s inhabited earth and delighting in the human race. [4]

The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world did not recognize the light.

A man called John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. [5]

The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world did not recognize the light.

The Word became flesh and made his home among us. [6]

The Light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world did not recognize the light.

 

These days it can be hard to see the light. Looking around the world the last week, year, century, or millennium, it can be hard to see the light.

Across America, many cities are in continual states of protest and we don’t know who is right.

Across America, gun violence ravages our schools, 41 shootings in 2014 alone. [7]

Across America, children go hungry. In 2012, 10% of homes with children reported some amount of food insecurity during the year. [8]

Across the world, people live in modern slavery, trapped by capitalism run amuck in low wage jobs with no hope. [9]

Across the world, it is hard to see the light.

 
 Photo by Jupiterimages/Photos.com / Getty Images

Photo by Jupiterimages/Photos.com / Getty Images

And Yet: The Light is in the world.

And the Light Shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness DOES NOT overcome it.

Some people see the light.

Moses did.

John did.

Simeon did.

We do.

This morning we are celebrating the light of Christ shining forth in the darkness.

We remember that in a village long ago, God became man and lived among us. God stepped across the world, and lived a fully human life, even suffering death at the hands of the powers of Darkness for our sake.

But the Word was always in the world, even before the Word became incarnate through Mary.

The Word was there, rushing across the deep sea, at the beginning of all things.

The Word was there, frolicking with the Father, as the universe took form.

The Word was there leading God’s people out of the land of Egypt.                                                                                  

The Word walked the Earth as Jesus of Nazareth for 33 short years, some 2000 years ago.

And died, the Light was killed by the powers of Darkness.

And was reborn.

The Word was the Light into the Darkness, and the Darkness did not overcome it.

The Word continues to be in the World.

When we come to this place, and gather at this table, we are united with the Word that was and is and ever shall be.

When we come to this place, we are reminded that the God walked among us is among us and walks among us still.

We are reminded that the Light Shines in the Darkness and the Darkness does not overcome it.

And when we leave this place, we carry that light into the world.

The Word does not come into the world for the salvation of a few, but for the salvation of all. The Word does not come into the world to be worshipped by some, but rather to transform the lives of all.

The Word is not ours alone, but the entire world’s.

As we walk out into the world that tries to swallow the light, may we have the eyes to see as Simeon sees, the courage to testify as John testifies, and the grace of Christ’s love to bear Christ’s love to all the world and make known to all the world the Good News of Christmas.

May we proclaim to the world that the Light shines in the Darkness and the darkness SHALL NOT overcome it.

Amen