“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
I spent the greater part of the past week researching, reading and studying to write this. I had snippets of brilliant insights from the great minds of Christendom past, glorious words from commentaries and the few lines I penned myself all ready to go. I sat down today after a long frustrating day at work and realized I was going to delete all of that and just start over. I never seem to honor God in my own vain efforts, but I always find some sort of inspiration when it seems like I have nothing much to say.
I came across the words to one of my favorite Christmas songs and I think it sums up so simply what my heart wanted to say. No lengthy brilliance about why Jesus spoke about himself as “the Light of the World” in the Court of the women not long after the feast of Tabernacles, no deep digging into the Greek. Just simple words beautifully written by Phillips Brooks, the rector of Boston’s famous Trinity Church. A writer of books and poetry. His prose says so much to me.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light–
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
Bethlehem. A quiet little town, nothing much going on there before now. A dreamless sleep, dark streets. Much like the streets of my town right now. People frustrated and hopeless in more ways then they realize. Sinners even. The stars are silent in this sad town. What a place for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to be born! But He was…for average, everyday people like you and me friend. In that little dark stable, the hope of the world, the “Light of the World” came to illuminate those dark streets and give eternal hope to those dark lives. That hope still lives on.
For Christ is born of Mary–
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond’ring love.
Almost everybody was asleep we suppose, except the shepherds. They were the ones who were awake in the fields watching their flocks. And so it was to them that the angels came. But while the rest of mortals were sleeping, the angels kept their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God our King,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv’n
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming,
But, in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in.
“Meek Souls” Not weak ones, humble ones. I know this is not deep theology, but the message that Jesus came without pomp or fanfare, to quiet streets and lowly shepherds is such a comfort to my soul…it humbles me and gives me peace. I want to share that peace and comfort of everlasting life, the light that shines on sins and breaks hearts but gives hope everlasting.
James Smith speaks with such clarity of that simple message of “Good news” and the light of truth found only in Jesus Christ.
“Do you enjoy the light — then point others to it. Tell poor dark miserable sinners of it; invite them to look to it, urge them to come to Jesus for it; and be sure to let the light you receive from Jesus, so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Lost sinner, Jesus is the light of the world, if therefore you want knowledge, comfort, holiness, or salvation — come to him, look to him, ask of him, expect from him, and believe his word, “If any man,” no matter who he is, or what he is — “if any man follows me, he shall not walk in darkness — but shall have the light of life.”
This Christmas I wanted to communicate the simple truth of eternal hope, peace and redemption found only my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that in someway this post humbly points the way to the light found only in Jesus and brings honor and glory to Him.