Advent Devotional | December 22, 2020
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.” John 8:12
“Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more.” – Matthew Henry, Biblical Scholar
Do you remember the days when there wasn’t a flashlight on your cell phone? If you’re a compulsive phone-light user, you likely don’t. This time of year in Minnesota, it is convenient. With darkness covering both the late morning and early evening hours, having a light on hand is crucial. Intuitively, we know that walking in the dark is not going to end well. Bumps and bruises are not the only issues that may result from stomping through a dark room. Our family has a black cat that loves choosing a different step to lay on each morning. You’d think he would learn after being stepped on a few times, but I digress. Darkness is a challenge when navigating in it physically but even more devastating when moving about spiritually. Jesus didn’t come to help us find our way through an unlit room, so what did He mean when saying, “I am the light of the world?”
Jesus was there at the beginning of our world. The world was created through Him; therefore, Jesus Christ is the author of all light and is qualified to define it as Himself. In contrast, the Greek word for darkness is skotia and is associated with the kind of misery experienced in hell. It is fascinating to think about the presence of Jesus in heaven by comparison! It is no exaggeration to say that Advent is a season where heaven came to earth. If you remember from yesterday’s devotion, the separation between heaven and earth is one of our world’s many problems. Profound darkness is the result of not having God among us. Brilliant light comes when God breaks into the world through Christ!
Jesus was the light on earth while He walked about the earth. When He ascended, Jesus gave us the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Why? Because the plan was and is for us to be salt and light. Christ in us is the hope of Glory, as the Apostle Paul so beautifully says in Colossians 1:27. I miss large-group gatherings at the church, and I’m sure you do too. But don’t be fooled. God’s plan was not to spread the gospel through large-group gatherings. His intent was to send His light through believers into the world. No mask, mandate, or other barrier should prevent us from being living, breathing evidence of Advent. Make the most of this time apart and reflect the light of Christ.
Pastor Dave Mergens