Christmas is a very special time for me personally. My history of personal trials and having a baby boy at Christmastime nearly 12 years ago has changed Christmas for me forever. Every year since then, Christmas has been not a day, but days of worship and meditation leading up to the 25th of December and a new year. I’ve spent many years doing a Jesse Tree devotional with my boys. The last couple years, the Jesse Tree devotional was replaced by other short readings and discussions (read resistance and challenge) with my preteen and teenage sons. This year, I’ve decided to write out my own meditations and thoughts and share them with my young men. I am planning to post a daily meditation/devotional between now and Christmas.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” -John 8:12
I’m currently going through a situation where I’m being asked questions, almost daily, about God, what the purpose of humanity is, what marriage is for, how to find happiness and more. The questions come from someone who doesn’t believe in Christ and even admits to being repelled by the idea of worshipping God or needing a Savior. As I’ve listened and humbly put forward the answers I felt led to speak I’ve come to realize what a freedom and wonder it is to see life in light of Jesus.
Light allows you to avoid danger. With the tiniest of lights on at night I can distinguish a Rubik’s cube in the hallway on the way to the bathroom so I don’t twist my ankle. Light invades darkness, but darkness never puts light out. When the lights are on, night creatures and creepy crawlies scramble.
In the Bible Jesus calls himself the light of the world. Jesus is the light every human being needs to see what life is all about.
The famous Christmas reading of the prophecy about the coming Child says:
“The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” – Isaiah 9:2
Living life in this world without following Jesus is like living in deep darkness without any light. Sounds scary. But even scarier is living life in this world without following Jesus thinking you see just fine. Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)
The Christ we celebrate at Christmas is the way we see what life is all about! Christmas is about the Light of the World coming into our great darkness, making those who believe in him able to navigate this dark, crazy world with understanding, peace and purpose.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:1-13