Winter is here again with its dark evenings and mornings. We will often find ourselves walking in its darkness; it’s not surprising that Christmas lights are so popular.
Every year more of us fight the darkness by brightening up our homes and gardens with hundreds of festive lights.
Do you feel that the world is in darkness? Terrible wars rage in Syria, Ukraine and many other places. These conflicts have spilled over the borders, resulting in horrific attacks such as the ones in Paris. Do you long for some light in this darkness? Can we overcome the world’s darkness?
Our own darkness
There is another darkness which you may never think about. The Bible shows us that there is darkness in our own hearts. We don’t love God as we should, nor love others as we should. We often think, speak and act with selfish, envious or uncontrolled desires. One day we will each have to give an account to God for these things.
Long ago in the Bible, God promised that a great light would dawn on people who walk in a dark world and with dark, sinful hearts — people just like us. That great light would be a child: ‘For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given’ (Isaiah 9:6).
This child was born just over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. His name is Jesus, and we celebrate his birth every Christmas. Jesus was a real human, but he was also the ‘Mighty God’ and ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6).
Light and life
Jesus came from heaven to earth to bring us light and life. He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12).
Jesus lived the perfect life we’ve failed to live, loving God and keeping all his commands. And Jesus laid down his life for our sins, suffering death to pay the penalty we deserve. He rose from the dead, defeating the darkness of sin and death.
Jesus calls us all to trust in him and follow him. He will replace the darkness of our sin with the light of forgiveness and new life. And, as we follow him in this dark world, Jesus will give us the light of his peace and joy, and the certain hope of heaven.
Paul Brunning is pastor of East Leake Evangelical Church, Loughborough