Before time ticked out the days, before space gave those days a place to play themselves out, and before matter existed to give them substance, there was God. The God, Whose words sparked against the darkness and lit the eternal flame we call Light.
The Light was good, and it illuminated the beautiful world God created. And when Evil entered that world and plunged it into the dark of the Fall, God’s Word could not be extinguished. So, the Light flickered on.
The Light consumed that first sacrifice for that first sin, and flaming swords guarded the way to eternal death, so the Light of hope could shine into the darkness of the human race.
The Light split into the prism of a promise after Noah’s flood, and the Light blinked with innumerable stars of promise before Abraham’s eyes.
It flickered to Moses in the heat of a burning bush, and He led God’s people out of Egypt’s bondage following that pillar of Light through the darkness. The Light shook the mountain where God wrote His Law with His own Finger.
The Light glinted off crowns and fell in blazing fury to lick up the Mount Carmel sacrifice of a prophet clad in camel’s hair and purpose. The Light shone in Solomon’s temple. Its spark touched the lips of Isaiah, who prophesied, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”*
Then, it seemed as if the Light was swallowed up in overwhelming darkness once again. For four hundred years, there was no flicker or spark. All was quiet, all was void, all was dark. There was no king, no prophet, no word, no sign. God’s people, once again in bondage, fell headlong into the darkness which had been kept at bay by the Light.
Oh, but the Light was never gone! Light, once spoken into existence by the Great Creator, cannot be destroyed. For darkness cannot dispel Light, but one spark of Light can make all darkness flee. When it seems darkness is winning, it is only human sight that is clouded, for the Light cannot go out!
The Light began to flicker once again, from an angel’s bright robe as he appeared to Zechariah and a young girl from Nazareth. It grew as the angels lit the night sky in brilliant, white light as they chorused to a tattered group of shepherds. And, the Light streaked into a bright star to guide the way of the Magi traveling miles to search out that Light.
“In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God……And the light shined in the darkness; and the darkness could not stop it…..That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world……And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”**
Yes, the Light shone from the Child nestled in a feed trough. And Mary pondered another dark day when it would seem as if the Light was eternally gone. But the Word, made flesh, made into Light? That Light would break the seal of its tomb and banish darkness forever!
Once again, the world looks dark. God’s people are grasping for sparks of hope and prisms of promise, looking for the Light to return. Remember, darkness cannot dispel the Light, but one spark of Light can make all darkness flee. When it seems darkness is winning, it is only human sight that is clouded for the Light cannot go out!
Because of that Child in a manger, because of that Savior on a Cross, all is changed. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts…..but we have this treasure in earthen vessels….”***
The Word, the very Light Himself, taught us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may ….glorify your Father which is in heaven.” ****
Once again, God entrusts His Light to human flesh. It shines in me. It shines in you. It shines in every one who has opened his heart to the Light and let it flood the darkness out. Now, we must go, like the shepherds of old and carry the Light into the darkness. Remember, darkness cannot dispel the Light, but one spark of Light can make all darkness flee.
**portions of John 1, some paraphrased
***2 Cor. 4:6&7