The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5 ESV
The world is dark.
Even the most steadfast optimist must admit that there is something fundamentally wrong. Why else do we weep because of the lives lost to murder? Gun control will not end killings, just as no treaty will end all wars. Of course, we should seek justice. God is a just and righteous God, and evil must be punished. However, if the root of the problem is not acknowledged, a proper solution cannot be given. The core fissure in our foundation is sin.
Sin is what makes our world dark. It looms overhead like a storm cloud, threatening to block out the sun. Of course, it is only the “big” sins that really make us feel the darkness, but in reality, it is the “safe” sins that lead to “big” ones. Covetousness seems harmless when compared to false testimonies, theft, adultery, and murder, yet those sins often sprout from coveting’s seed.
Humanity is, at its heart, sinful.
That is the problem.
That is our problem.
Just as darkness is only dispersed by light, there is only one solution to this dilemma: Jesus. As the apostle John penned this verse through the Holy Spirit nearly two thousand years ago, I can imagine him reflecting on Jesus’ coming into the world, picturing it as a blindingly brilliant ray of light bursting into a pitch black world.
Before His coming, God’s people saw no prophet and heard no message of God for four hundred years. The world had gone dark. But then Jesus burst onto the scene, God incarnate, shining into the darkness, to conquer sin upon the cross. And even after His death, resurrection, and ascension, He did not leave us alone in the darkness. Instead, He continues to give power to His people, the Church, to be vessels of His own light, to carry His light into the darkest of nights.
May we, as the Church, realize anew that we are bearing the only solution to the darkness of this world, that we are carrying the light of Jesus! And may we realize that though our light seems at times to be a flicking candle in such a ocean of darkness, the darkness has never and will never overcome the light of Christ!