is for Night.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. -Luke 2:8
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. –1 Peter 2:9-10
Activity: Light a candle and turn off the lights. Notice the shadows that are cast by the candlelight. Next, find a flashlight (phone flashlight works just fine) and shine the flashlight onto the candle to cast a shadow on the wall. Notice that the candle casts a shadow but the flame does not. Light causes other things to cast a shadow, but light has no shadow. Jesus is the Light of the World. There is no darkness in Him.
Night can be a scary time. We sing songs like “Silent Night” but darkness and silence can make us feel alone and helpless. Many of us know what it feels like to be uncomfortable in the dark. That is why from a young age so many people have night lights in their room.
The years before Jesus’ birth must have felt like a long nighttime for God’s people. They had been taken from their homeland and sent far away. They prayed to God for the sun to come up on a new day when they might return to their land and worship their God in the temple.
John 1 calls Jesus, the Light that, “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (Jn 1:5).” Jesus coming into the world was like waking up to a superbright spotlight shining into your eyes. Though God’s followers had been praying for the Messiah, they could hardly handle how perfect He was. He was so perfect, so righteous that they wanted to send Him away, so that the darkness of their hearts might not have to be compared to His perfect light.
We, too, know that our lives are darkened by sin. And the light of Jesus only shows just how dark and broken we are in our sinfulness. The light of Jesus came to find our sin, but not to punish it, rather to take it away so that we can reflect His marvelous, perfect light.
PRAYER: Dear God, Thank you for the Light of the World, who brings us from the dark of night into the Light of Your salvation. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.