12/19/15

Christmas: Dispelling the Darkness

One of the blessings of Christmas is: Jesus came to dispel our darkness!

My name is Dawn. People used to tease me when I approached saying, "Comes the Dawn" or "Oh, I see it finally dawned on you!" Probably because of my name, for as long as I can remember, I've looked up Bible verses about "the dawn" or "light."

Some of these scriptures creep into my thinking during the Christmas season, because Christmas is a season of Great Light.


That little baby boy, born in a manger in Bethlehem, was and is the Light of the World (John 8:12). His life is "the life that is the light of men," John said (1:4, 9). 

The wonder of God's plan is: the light of God's Son shines in and dispels the darkness (John 1:4-5).

Isaiah told God's people, "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).

God's people looked for that light. And one day it came.

Matthew wrote,
"The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, 
and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, 
upon them a light dawned" (Matthew 4:16). 

Jesus was that "great light!"

And Jesus' desire for His disciples  and for all Christ-followers  is that we embrace and reflect His light to others. His light is all that He is: His person, character and purposes.

So Christ-followers are "the light of the world" too (Matthew 5:14a).
We have Jesus' light within us, and when we allow Him to shine out through us, our good works will bless others as we glorify our Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16).
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Make no mistake. Without Jesus' light, we would all walk in darkness forever. Even our good works would be like dirty rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6). We would practice sin (1 John 1:5-6; John 3:19-21) and dishonor the Lord.

But if we have trusted Christ — if we are IN Him — we are now "light in the Lord" and are instructed by the Apostle Paul to "WALK as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).

We "walk" by demonstrating the Light of the Lord in countless practical ways.
For instance, we can:

  1. Mow a lawn for a widow
  2. Sing joyfully in the choir
  3. Make a meal for a shut-in
  4. Encourage a prisoner with a note or card
  5. Share wise counsel with a friend who asks for help
  6. Pray for a friend's healing
  7. Run errands for an elderly person
  8. Take care of a young mom's children so she can rest
  9. Tell a neighbor our testimony of faith

These are everyday demonstrations of Jesus' light in the world.

And in these dark times in the world, it's crucial we walk in His light.

  • We do this when we stand for truth in the midst of lies and confusion. 
  • Or when we suffer for righteousness as Jesus would or even endure persecution for His name. 
  • Or when we cling to holiness when many around us compromise their purity. 
  • And when we seek and praise God — even when it's not politically correct.

The truth is, our light can (and should) shine the brightest 
when our circumstances are darkest. 

When we don't know where our next meal will come from, yet we trust the Lord to provide. When we lose our job, but know our Father will care for us. When our health fails, and we still can sing a song of faith. When a loved one is taken from us, but we still choose to trust our good, faithful God.

One of the many messages of Christmas is this: Jesus came to dispel our darkness. Ultimately, He came to show us how to spread the light of this good news to a world still struggling in the dark.

Are you "light in the Lord"? Are you walking as a "child of light"?