SERMON TITLE: “Light in the Darkness”
SERMON TEXT: John 1:1-14
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 19, 2021, at First UMC
There’s so much to love about Christmas: the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy, and love; connecting with family and friends; the generosity of gift-giving; festive clothing and decorations; wonderful music; and special foods and holiday goodies. Oh, and did I mention the lights? There’s something so meaningful about lighting the candles on the Advent wreath and holding up our individual candles as we sing “Silent Night” in the Christmas Eve service.
Outside the church, as well, everywhere you go there are colored bulbs and strings of white lights glowing from windows and eves and bushes and trees. At the darkest time of the year, lights are brightening up some neighborhoods in megawatt style. Even before these modern days of electricity, there was the light of the ancient star in the east that led the wise men to Jesus. And, although the Bible doesn’t exactly say that the angelic host was accompanied by light, all that “glory of the Lord” certainly enlightened the shepherds out in their field that dark night. Maybe it was like that surprising thunder and lightning we had with the snow on Tuesday night.
Of course, the Christmas emphasis on lights comes not so much from the stories of shepherds, angels, stars, and wise men as from the more basic Christmas message of the divine light who came into the world in the human form of Jesus Christ. Centuries before, the prophet Isaiah had written, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined” (9:2). Along that same line of thinking, the Gospel of John tells us that God’s light which was present in creation had come into the world in a new way. The Word became flesh and lived among us, so that we might see light in the darkness.