Day 24: Sunday 24th December, Christmas Eve – John 1:1-14 ‘The Light shines in the darkness’

John 1:1-14

‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’

We live in dark and anxious times. Fears for health, for loved ones, for prosperity, for mental wellbeing are all prevalent in hearts and minds this Christmas. We are not alone in this – such worries are widespread across our world – but they are none the less real for that.

We need the light.

We need light for what it brings to us. We need light for its perspective. When the light shines, we see things as they really are. We see God coming to earth, bringing salvation, bringing hope and healing, bringing love, authority and wisdom. We see the dawn of redeeming grace – God’s great rescue plan put into operation.

May God grant us grace to see life again as it really is, infused with the light of God’s coming into the world.

We need the light for the warmth that it brings. In ancient societies all forms of light generated measurable heat. And the light of Christmas is not just something to stand and admire, or to gaze upon. When Jesus comes, he promises his very presence, here in our hearts. ‘Behold I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ The light of the world brings us warmth: intimacy with God, the chance to discover unexpected peace in our hearts, and praise on our lips.

May God grant us grace to welcome the light of his presence in our hearts, and be warmed by his love and peace.

We need the light to be guided on right paths. So much of what happens we can’t control at the moment. But if we can’t change the world, we can change the world in us. We can still be bringers

of light to others, we can still share grace and peace with those around us, we can choose the quietly radical path of peace-making and joy-bringing in the small places where we do have an influence.

May God grant us grace to be guided by light, that we might be bringers of light to others.

We may still wish things were different. And that’s normal and natural. I do, too. But can I encourage us all to look in two directions this season. Firstly to look down, into the face of God lying in that manger, and see that hope still lives on in the world. And then to look up, towards the light – the light which shines in the darkness, and still shines – and the darkness does not overcome it.

And may God’s light shine in our hearts, our homes, our families, our nation, and our world this Christmas. Amen.