Summary: The Light has come to dispell the darkness of the humna heart. Come, walk in His self-revelation.
A Greater Than Edison Is Here!
AS WE MAKE OUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE ADVENT SEASON, one symbol is preeminent—LIGHT! Tree lights, candle lights, houses, buildings, and malls decorated with lights. Perhaps it’s a parable of our times that we are rarely without some form of light. I suppose we ought to thank Edison for that. It is said that after thousands of experiments, when he finally achieved this monumental breakthrough that would affect all of human history, Edison heard the shrill voice of his wife cry out, “For goodness sake, Tom, would you turn off that light and come to bed!”
Even on the darkest night in most communities there is artificial light everywhere—streetlights, car-lights, neon signs. But I say unto you that a Greater than Edison is here!
We rarely experience total darkness because we have so much artificial light. Perhaps this is a parable of the inner darkness and emptiness of modern humanity. There is a great deal of artificial light that we’re using to cover or deny the dark side of man’s nature.
Given a choice, would you rather read by artificial light or natural light?
The writers of the Bible understood the significance of darkness and light. The shepherd had no light except that of his campfire. The traveler had better make progress while it was still day.
When Isaiah beckons us to walk in the light of the Lord, and when Paul challenges us to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, the imagery is sharp and vivid. Without God there is nothing but confusion, dread, darkness and death. In Him is light and life. A greater than Edison is here!
The first recorded word that God spoke was, “Let there be light!” John, in his first epistle says, “Walk in the light as he is in the light.” That’s the basic message of the entire Bible. God can light up the entire universe with galaxies of indescribable dimensions, but there is one little corner of creation that with all His power and might He cannot reach without our help—the darkness within the human heart.
Many of you who are parents can appreciate God’s dilemma. The world’s greatest scientist or philosopher with an I.Q. at the tope of the scale—with money and power may not be able to get through to a wayward son or daughter. Even the most devout Christian parent may watch helplessly as his offspring chooses the low road.
Imagine the agony of God as He surveys the darkness of life on our planet: hatred, murder, rape, and war. Imagine His despair as He beholds how we are bent on self-destruction. He offers us a better way, a way of abundant living and yet we waste our lives in the frivolous pursuit of status, pleasure, wealth, and power.
He says, “Come, walk in My light.” But we hold back. We stay in the shadows. As someone has put it, “There are many today who have just enough religion to make them miserable. They have a half-hearted faith that neither challenges or fulfills them.”
I will never forget the story of a famous bishop who spoke to a gathering of ministerial students. He repeated Jesus’ story of the wise and foolish maidens. Then he looked at those young men and challenged them, “Young men, would you rather be in the light with the ten wise maidens or out in the dark with the ten foolish maidens?” Well, the young preachers broke out in laughter and the bishop realized what he had said and joined them to the point that he couldn’t finish his message.
But seriously, the bishop had a point. There are many who would choose the darkness over the light to satisfy their pleasure.
I want to draw a sharp contrast between the world of darkness and the world of light in such a way that our desire will be to get out of the shadows and walk in the full light of God’s love. A greater than Edison is here!
I. THE COMING OF LIGHT
In both the Old and New Testaments, the coming of the light into the world is seen as an act of judgment. When we come into the light we are seen with all of our flaws, all of our misdeeds, and all of our weaknesses.
When shopping for a new car, a consumer group urges us to never look for one at night or even on an overcast day. Get the car out in the light of day so you can find a possible flaw. In the same way, it is hard to hide our misdeeds when brought out into the Sonlight.
Of course, the irony is that we delude ourselves when we think that we can hide anything from God. You may familiar with the story of a man who discovered his little daughter praying for him out loud. When she was finished, he said to her, “Honey, I appreciate you praying for me, but did you have to tell God that I have a hangover?”