Jesus, the Light of the World
by Hal Hostetler
December 21, 2012
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-9
Today is the “Winter Solstice,” the beginning of winter, the shortest day of the year. On this day everyone north of the equator will experience the least amount of sunlight for the whole year. The ancients recognized that fact and celebrated the return of the sun shortly thereafter. It was fitting therefore that Christ’s people would celebrate the coming of God’s light into the world during that same time-frame.
Today much of mankind looks with joy to “Christmas.” We who know Him, the great “I AM,” look to it as CHRISTmas. It is He, Christ, who is the light of the world. In John 8:12, Christ says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of
life.” In turn, Jesus made us to be light to the world around us.
Bearing light to others is a great responsibility. Light brings life, and Jesus is, in fact, both. John 1:4 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” But light also exposes, proves, and reproves. Not all wish to be in that light, and may reject it as described in John 3:19-20: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
Nevertheless, our calling as believers is to shine Christ’s light into a world lost in darkness and sin. Acts 1:8 says, “ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” If you know Jesus as Savior and Lord, you know these things, but like all believers, you must grow in His knowledge and grace. Even as we grow older, we need to read, study, and learn—though we may need a stronger light to do so!
If this is new to you, be assured that God loves you and is calling you even now to come to that light. Let Christ fill your heart and make His home within you. Give your R.S.V.P. to the invitation that is offered to all people in Revelation 3:20. “Here I [Jesus] am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
So this Christmas when you put up your lights, “hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have yourself a merry little Christmas” while reveling in the true Light of the world!