“I looked down as I was treading water waiting for the race to start. It was so unfathomably deep and dark. A few times my imagination ran away with me – I panicked, feeling I was the only person in this big, dark sea, the eyes of every sea creature on me, but I kept moving towards the light.”
Recently my daughter-in-law represented her country in an international triathlon. Knowing that ocean swimmers have to combat their terror of the dark beneath them, I was interested to know how she had coped with the sudden fear. I admired her courage, for who has never been afraid of the dark?
When Isaiah wrote 700 years before Jesus’ birth, he described the state of the nation in these graphic terms: “Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upwards, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look towards the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom.”
Then he predicted amazing news: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9)
“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1) “He wraps himself in light.” (Psalm 104) “(He is) the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light.” (1 Timothy 6)
The Bible is packed with the knowledge that God is light. And, wonder of wonders, he sent his Light into our dark world: “In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” (John 1)
“I (Jesus) am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8)
The light of life is a costly gift that must be personally received. If you choose to accept the Christ of the manger and the cross you become “a chosen people, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2)
Light for your earthly path and light for eternity: “The Lord will be your everlasting light and your days of sorrow will end” (Isaiah 60). “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” (Revelation 22)
Ezekiel’s prophetic vision of Christ on his throne shows us the wonderful difference Jesus makes to our lives: “…brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.”
What better Christmas present could you wish for?