“Here is my servant, who I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight: I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations…. 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.
In the beginning was the word…. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it…. John.. came as a witness to that light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
Then Jesus told them, “…the one who walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become children of light…… I have come into the world as a light, so that no-one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
(Jn 12.35&36, 46)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
(2 Cor 4.6)
Lord, how can we proclaim your light to those around us who don’t see the darkness? To those for whom human wisdom and sophistication, material prosperity, cultural maturity and the security of law and order provide all the illumination they desire?
Is it nothing to them that our society harbours more personal trauma, self-destruction, hatred, division, isolation and sheer human misery than every before? Is this not darkness?
Lord, open their eyes, that they might see the darkness around them.
Is it nothing to them that our global community is facing catastrophic changes in climate which will threaten our existence, and are already causing devastation to millions who are starving, flooded, impoverished, oppressed – all because of the way in which human nature works when societies become powerful? Is this not darkness?
Lord, open their eyes, tear them from dreams of human achievement to waken to the reality of human brokenness.
Is it nothing to them that their own lives are marked by loss, failure, shortcomings and addictions, long-buried and cherished grudges, shame, unresolved griefs and deep uncertainties, and that one day they will die?
Lord, open their eyes, that they might see the darkness within them.
Thank you Lord, for your light is eternal, is life itself, is glory overflowing and abundant: it is You. In Jesus, you give us yourself, and in you, we are made alive not only now but forever.
Thank you Lord, for your light is crack-making, prison-breaking, dream-banishing, life-kindling. Your light is sin-burning, shame-destroying, forgiveness-flooding, hope-filling. Your light is powerful.
Thank you Lord, for your light is joy-infusing, courage-building, immortal-making, heaven-fitting.
Your light is transformative.
This Christmas, as we remember the gift of the Light of the World, we pray for our world. Heavenly Father, open the blinded eyes and break down the defended minds and hearts, to see that without you, they walk in darkness. Their ‘lights’, are impotent against the real darkness, and only in Jesus will they find what is so desperately needed.
Thank you Lord, for your community around the world, living by the light and seeking in all ways and at all times to bring others to see the light. By your grace, set aside our failures and short-comings, strengthen us in courage and perseverance to bear witness to the light, as John did, and to speak truth about you. May you be glorified even through us, as we bear Christ’s likeness and serve in his name.