In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:1-5, NLT)
The life giving life of Jesus, according to John’s nativity, was designed to provide light for those who live in darkness. To fully appreciate the interaction between light and dark we have to refer back to the creation story. Check this out.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.(Genesis 1:1-4, NLT)
God’s first recorded words in Scripture were, “Let there be light.” Light is purposeful, because light reveals. When I was a kid, my parents took me to Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Missouri. In the middle of the tour, the guide turned off the lights and told us that we were in absolute darkness. We were encouraged to wave our hands in front of our faces, and sure enough, we couldn’t see a thing! In a sense, darkness is nothing more than the absence of light.
Creation unfolded with light being introduced into absolute darkness. Like a high intensity surgical lamp, it reveals.
Light and darkness are opposites, but not equals. In the creation story darkness is not eliminated, its subordinated. If we use light and dark as metaphors for good and evil, the same principle is true. Good and evil are opposite but not equal. Evil has not been eliminated, its been subordinated.
But the good news is that in the end, both darkness and evil will be eradicated. Years later, the Apostle John would conclude the Revelation with this word of encouragement as he described the New Jerusalem:
“There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5, NIV)
Tomorrow I’ll return to John 1 and share three responses to the light. Thanks for checking in!