By Steve Cordle.-—
Many of the Christmas cards I receive have manger scenes on them; Mary and Joseph gazing on the baby Jesus who is asleep on the hay, animals calmly standing by. It is a peaceful scene.
But if the picture included all that was happening around Israel at that time, then the scene would not be so peaceful. When Jesus was born, Israel was under military occupation by a pagan nation. Corrupt rulers made a mockery of justice. The rich abused the poor. Most people did not live past the age of 30. Religious leaders were often more interested in their own comfort and power than in God’s ways.
Jesus was born into a dark world. And yet,
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5)
The light a single candle will always pierce even the deepest darkness.
At times it can seem like the darkness around us is deep and never-ending: Covid, racial tensions, and political division tear at our society. Family disunity, illness, or personal emptiness can claw at the heart. You might even wrestle with discouragement in ministry, wondering if you are making a difference. Perhaps you’re feeling like a failure.
But Jesus has come, and he will bring light to every darkness.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:11-12)
Every time you speak of Jesus or demonstrate the Gospel, you are shining the light into a dark world.
God entered a dark world on that first Christmas day, and the light still shines.