Jesus said: “Those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

John 3:21

I have been blessed with the opportunity to contribute some devotions to a wonderful new devotional app, “Good Ground.” You can learn more about the app in this post or on their website. Here is my devotion that was shared last Sunday:

Have you ever heard the expression, “nothing good happens after midnight”? It’s not literally true, of course, but I think that there is wisdom in this saying. I remember hearing this from my parents when I was a teenager, and then sharing it with my teenage children, too. It is a simple way of remembering that we should all be cautious when we are out late. There is more crime that takes place when it is dark than when it is light. And we are more likely to make poor decisions in the dark of the night, too. 

Sin, after all, likes the darkness. Jesus himself said that “all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God” (John 3:20-21). The light exposes the evil of our world. And Jesus is the light. He came into the darkness of our world to shine a light on our world, and to overcome the darkness for us.

When I was in seminary I learned about a wonderful practice among Christans in Iceland. They would collect all their old candles throughout the year, and then on Christmas Eve, they would gather all those candles together, and they would light them all up. Imagine what this must have been like in the days before electricity, in a country that can be very dark in December. What a brilliant way to remind themselves of the light that is celebrated with the birth of Christ. And what a wonderful way to announce to all the world that the darkness will never overcome the light of Christ! 

I think of this when I see the Christmas lights shining in our neighborhoods in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It seems as though I see more and more lights every year. Our world is looking for light, I suppose, and this is an expression of that. So, our world collects its candles and puts up its lights. And all of this is wonderful, as long as we remember that these lights are not the real, true light. Candles burn out. Electric lights do, too. They all will eventually fade away. And all that will be left is the light that became flesh that first Christmas. 

All of the lights that we shine in our world are worthless if they do not serve to remind us that Jesus himself is the true light that shines in the darkness. The only light that the darkness cannot overcome. Jesus is the light, and in his life is “the light of all people” (John 1:4). So, with that in mind, let’s light up our candles, and put up our Christmas lights, and remember the good news that Jesus is the light of our world!

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