light has come

Sunday, December 29, 2019


"In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:4-5

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I will be the first to admit that I am the worst at science. I never liked it in high school, and college chemistry just about killed me. The thought that I still need one more science class to graduate makes me want to cry, but we're putting that aside today and diving into a bit of science. Specifically, I want to talk about light. 
Light has the fastest speed of anything in the universe - it travels at 299,792,458 meters per second. It is made up of electromagnetic waves, and darkness is simply the absence of electromagnetic waves - the absence of light. 
While the human eye may not be able to see it, light is never gone completely. This is due to the fact that all matter emits electromagnetic radiation, giving off light. 
Thus, it is physically impossible for darkness to overcome light. Just think about it - if you're in a dark room and you strike a match, you will see light. It doesn't matter that the entire room was dark prior to the match being struck, or that there is so much darkness in the room and just the one small light. Once the match was struck, there was light. 
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This Christmas season, the Lord has been bringing this same verse to my attention over and over and over. It's been a part of every Christmas show that I've attended, been an integral part of one of my Advent devotionals, and popped up on my social media more times than I can count. Okay, Jesus, I'm paying attention. 
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. "
I don't know if you've ever used BibleHub.com, but it's my favorite site when it comes to studying Scripture. The great thing about Bible Hub is that it gives you the ability to type in a verse and see every single version of that verse all on the same page. It's fascinating to see the different ways that different versions phrase the same truth, and that's true for the verse as well. 
NIV is generally one of the most frequently used translations, so that's what I went with when I shared the verse at the beginning of this email. I want to specifically focus on the end of the verse - "and the darkness has not overcome it" - because I think that's what hits me the most when it comes to this passage, and what I love most when going through the different versions. 
"Has not", used in the NIV, is present tense - it's the here and now. the Bible may have been written thousands of years ago, but it's the Living Word, and the truth remains the same - the darkness has not overcome the light. No matter how dark the world may look, it cannot overcome the light.
The New Living Translation says that "the darkness can never extinguish it". KJV says that "the darkness comprehended it not", and New American Standard comes in similarly with "the darkness did not comprehend it". The Contemporary English version states that "the light keeps shining in the dark, and the darkness has never put it out". At the end of the day, regardless of which version you prefer, they're all saying the same thing: darkness has notand will not win. 
I think that can be a difficult thing to remember, especially if this holiday season is a harder one for you. When you're watching the celebrations but feel as though joy has skipped you over this year, it's hard to believe that darkness isn't able to engulf the light. 
Yet light is so much stronger.
The very first words that God used to speak the world into existence: "Let there be light." When Jesus was born, the first sign of his birth - the first sign that the world had just been forever changed - was a star. A light. That light was the first sign that hope had come. That through His life - the light of the world - we had a new hope. We had the gift of grace. We had rest from our striving and peace from our strife. 
We had light.
I don't know what life looks like for you this Christmas. But if this season seems darker than you'd hoped, I want you to know that if we were sitting across from each other, coffee mugs in hand, I would tell you that light has still won. Sometimes it's harder to see - it's a single dying match instead of a bonfire. But it's there. I promise you, with all my heart, it's there. It's why we get to celebrate tomorrow - because through a baby, we were given hope.
Something that I didn't know before this year's Advent (I've been going through Hannah Brencher's daily study, and it has been so. darn. good.) was that the first prophecy of the birth of Jesus came at a time of massive darkness. It was 700 years before the birth of Jesus, and yet again, God's people had abandoned Him. They were prideful and filling their lives with worthless idols. There's no doubt that it was a chaotic, difficult time to live in. 
Sound familiar?
Yet it was at this time of so much darkness that the first prophecy is proclaimed, and "the people walking in darkness have seen a great light....for unto us a child is born....and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace". 
In a time of so much darkness, the first spark of hope was lit. The promise of the light to come, the light that we now get to celebrate. 
We have hope. We have joy. We have peace - despite our circumstances - because we get to know Him. It's worth celebrating every single second that we're alive, but I love that Christmas gives us an extra opportunity to praise the goodness that we have been given. 
Like we said earlier - darkness is simply the absence of light. And we have hope because the Light has come. Oh, He has come. Light has won. 
And it will never be overtaken. 

6 comments:

  1. This really encouraged me today. <3 It reminds me of John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." It always amazes me that Jesus says "have," not "WILL," overcome the world—all these things in the world that seem so strong have ALREADY been overcome!! To know that "Light HAS won" is such a wonderful thing.

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