In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-5, 14
This year we’ve been hosting the ADORE tours. There’s 5 paintings dotted around Barlanark, and we’ve walked families round them, sharing the Christmas story as we go. Each painting has a bunch of Christmas lights in them. At night time, they sparkle away looking beautiful. But during the day you lose something of the impact.
When it’s dark, we see loads of Christmas lights around Barlanark. Some flash like nuts, some are steady, some fade slowly. But they all come on at night. We leave them off during the day, not just because it saves using tons of electricity, but also because you only really see them properly when it’s dark.
John’s Gospel doesn’t start with the normal Christmas narratives about Jesus birth. He’s a bit more abstract. It takes a bit more thinking. But he kicks off with imagery that makes a lot of sense.
“That light shines in the darkness…”
Jesus, the Creator God, came in to the dark world, and shone like a light.
The world is filled with spiritual darkness. Sin dominates.
Oppression, abuse, war, addictions, conflict, hatred, suffering, fear, anger.
It’s all around us. It’s even in our hearts.
Jesus glorious perfections were visible in contrast to all the darkness around Him.
His own people rejected Him, but He still called others to follow.
He was despised, but He acted out of love.
Religious leaders arrested Him to kill Him, He didn’t fight back.
They threw accusations at Him, but He didn’t rise to it.
He was FULL of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
He was the perfect human. He had no darkness in Him.
He was truly unique. His glory was seen.
The world is still in darkness. Yet in Jesus, we can see the light. We can observe His glory shining as we read the Bible.
The more we understand ourselves, and the more we know Jesus, the more we will see how much more glorious He is. With the backdrop of a dark world, and with an understanding of our dark hearts, the light and glory of Jesus will shine all the brighter.
Jesus came to show His glory in the dark world.
O Come Let Us Adore Him!
A thought to remember: Jesus showed His glory in the dark world.
A question to ask: What darkness do you see or feel that will make Jesus’ glory all the brighter?
A bit more to read: John 1:1-18
A song to sing: All Glory Be To Christ