Were you afraid of the dark when you were a child? I was. The chore I dreaded most was taking the trash to the curb. The 25-yard walk down the driveway in the quiet darkness seemed more like a 2.5-mile gauntlet. I was sure that robbers and coyotes were crouching in the bushes, ready to spring their attack on me under the veil of darkness.
Later, at night, I would lie frozen in my bed, afraid of what lay behind my closet door. What monster lurked, waiting for me to fall asleep?
In George Lucas’s Star War universe, the Light and Dark sides of the force vie for power. The forces are equal in power, and the outcome is in jeopardy. There is no guaranteed victor.
Good thing we live in God’s universe and not Lucas’s! Christmas reminds us that history does not hang in the balance. The Light will overcome.
In his introduction to his gospel, John explains that Jesus is the light:
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. [John 1:4-9]
Jesus the Creator contains and is the essence of Light and Life. When he takes on flesh in his creation, it is as though a light has been turned on in a dark room. He is flood lights as I walk in the quiet darkness to the curb; he is a sunrise after a night with no moon.
The darkness of fear cripples us.
The darkness of shame clings to our hearts.
The darkness of envy won’t release us.
The darkness of bitterness churns in your gut.
But the light of Jesus makes them flee.
Where is there darkness in your life? Where are the shadows lurking? What situation do you fear God isn’t powerful enough to defeat? Do you have a functional Star Wars theology in your heart? Are there are certain things you have a sneaking suspicion the light of Christ can’t conquer in your life? Be confident this Christmas that when God the Son took on flesh in Bethlehem, an unquenchable light arrived. And that light is for you.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.