I know these words may seem foolish. Many would say that the darkness of the world is the one thing that we don’t need faith to believe in. It is all too obvious that we live in a dark world! True enough–but without biblical faith it is impossible to grasp just how dark this world is. While many may agree that the world is dominated by darkness, they also believe that somewhere is a glimmer of light that man can find by himself. They believe that as their eyes adjust to the darkness they will see a tiny crack of light spilling out from under a doorway, and that will lead to a better life. Yes, things are dark, but there is light and hope, if only we will have faith in the human spirit. Christmas is one of those times people think they can see light spilling out from imagined cracks. It takes faith to believe that the darkness is total, that there is no hope apart from the grace of God. Sadly, many come to ultimate despair when their search for light ends in futility. They are bitter because what they thought was a tiny ray of light was only an illusion of the darkness. The reality is that there is no light in a world without Christ. The prophet Isaiah offers these words about darkness and light:
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them. Isa. 42:14
The darkness of the world is total. In mercy brings light to those walking in darkness. But this light comes not from the human spirit or the hidden spark of goodness in man, this light comes from God alone, through faith alone. As Isaiah proclaims, it is God who will turn the darkness into light. One of the ironies of the Christmas season is the countless displays of Christmas lights. These lights range from a few lights wrapped around a miniature tree to elaborate computer-controlled light shows that cover lawns and houses. But for all the bright lights, the darkness still dominates.
Take time to remind your children and yourself that life without Christ is deep, utter darkness. No toy or game or DVD can bring light apart from Christ.
Praise God that true light came to earth. John 1:4-5 says “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” In its utter darkness, the human heart believes there is light where there is no light. May God grant us faith to live by the light and turn from the false hope of darkness. May he grant that we will show the true light of Christ to others.