Sunday, December 8, 2019

Advent Day 8: Darkness

Advent Words Day 8: Darkness

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:5

There is a theme throughout the Bible of the contrast of light and dark. As we have already seen in the previous verse, Jesus is the source of light, and that light is the spiritual illumination that He shines in the hearts of mankind. Darkness, then, symbolizes the opposite. Darkness in Scripture symbolizes our fallen nature, darkened by sin and unbelief. Darkness describes the gloom and despair of those living without the presence and favor of God, of times when God seems far away.  The word light in this verse is present tense in Greek, which means that the light continually shines. The Light - Jesus - continually illuminates and reveals the darkness in the world and in our hearts and minds.

John uses this stark contrast between darkness and light throughout his writings. Here a  few examples:

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." John 3:19

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

"Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going." John 12:35

"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." John 12:46

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

"Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining." 1 John 2:8

Isaiah prophesied that the Light that brings salvation would come and shine on God's people and free them from the darkness.

"The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned." Isaiah 9:2

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." Isaiah 42:6-7

During the Advent season we look in expectation and anticipation for the arrival of the Light that brings salvation - Jesus Christ. He is the light who continually shines in the darkness and frees us from our sins. 

In the darkness, we need the light of Advent candles to remind us that our Light has come!

Join me in responding creatively to the Advent Words in John's prologue. You can share your creative response on Instagram using #adventwords2019 or join the Words Challenge Facebook Group and share your creative response there.

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