“Christmas contains many spiritual truths, but it will be hard to grasp the others unless we grasp this one first. That is, that the world is a dark place, and we will never find our way or see reality unless Jesus is our Light.”- Timothy Keller
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”- Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
In Chapter 1 (“A Light Has Dawned”) of Hidden Christmas, Timothy Keller states that the appearance of lights serves as one of the first indications of the Christmas season. There’s radiance everywhere – lights on houses, candles in windows. And Bentleyville in Duluth!
Hence, Rev. Keller sees this as quite appropriate. Because December 25 follows the darkest time of the year in the Mediterranean world and in Europe. Places where Christmas celebrations took shape. Also, in John 1:9-10 (NIV), John says this about Jesus:
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.”
So, Rev. Keller asks, what makes the world ‘dark’? In the Bible the word darkness denotes both evil and ignorance:
- evil and untold suffering fill the world
- no one knows enough to cure the evil and suffering in the world
Yet, even today, people believe that intellect and innovation provide an end to that darkness. For example, a number of years ago Pastor Keller read an ad in the New York Times. That ad announced the meaning of Christmas as the triumph of love enabling people to put together a world of unity and peace.
However, Vaclav Havel, first president of the Czech Republic, begs to differ:
“Pursuit of the good life will not help humanity save itself, nor is democracy alone enough. A turning to and seeking of . . . God is needed.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses proclaim that we’ll never find our way unless Jesus is our Light? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A light dawned – the Christmas message”