Summary: A brief Christmas Eve Candlelight Devotional. At the end I also have our program for our special Candlelight service.
The Light of the World
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service Devotional
December 24, 2012
The October 2001 edition of National Geographic had an article on the “Power of Light” with this quotation:
Light reveals the world to us. Body and soul crave it. Light sets our biological clocks. It triggers in our brains the sensations of color. Light feeds us, supplying the energy of plants to grow. It inspires us with special effects like rainbows and sunsets. … Scientists don't fully understand what light is or what it can do. They just know that it will illuminate our future.
After just reading that, all the verses on light in the Bible just raced through my mind. There are 76 references to light in the New Testament, and it is used in the following ways: The idea is used in the New Testament in the following ways:
I. FIRST, IT SAYS THAT GOD IS LIGHT. – In 1 John 1:5, John tells us, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
There’s a whole lot of theology here that we don’t have time to unpack today. But for our purposes today, I think this quote in Albert Barnes’ commentary expresses the core of what it means that “God is light”: “Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge,…and happiness, as darkness is of the opposite.” So God is the essence and source of all these things: of perfect purity without sin, complete truth without any error, absolute knowledge without any ignorance on any subject and infinite happiness, so that nothing can make Him miserable.
II. SECOND, THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES THAT MANKIND BY NATURE ABHORS THE LIGHT. – John 3:19 – “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” – By nature, without God’s intervention in our lives, we sin against God; we would remain in spiritual ignorance and believe the lies of the Satan; we would be without the knowledge of God; the inevitable result of which is unhappiness and pain.
III. THIRD, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
Illus. – A little boy forgot his lines in a Christmas presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him, so he gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but to no avail, for his mind was blank. Finally, she leaned in and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.” The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, “My mother is the light of the world.”
No, his mother had it right: JESUS is the light of the world. This is how John introduces the Jesus as “the Word” that became flesh in John 1:4-5 – “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” When Jesus was born into this world, He was the one who manifested God on this earth. He shined for all the purity, truth, knowledge and happiness of God.