It was so dark, I could not see my hand before my face. Beneath the veil of a black, clouded and moonless sky, God taught me an amazing lesson.
When our son was in his early teens he was active in Boy Scouts. One year he was awarded a very special honor by his peers. It was the Order of the Arrow. We travelled west of Dallas to a Boy Scout campground for the ceremony near a lake. The topography was high for that part of Texas and we were near the precipice of a canyon. The sky was shrouded with clouds and once the sun went down, it became pitch black.
We were escorted to the top of a hill where the scouts had a campfire burning. Along the way we walked on a path of exposed tree roots and rocks. My husband walked ahead carrying a flashlight. Back then flashlights did not have the LED brightness of those today. Our flashlight produced a soft yellow glow which only illuminated a small area at my husband’s feet. I was walking in the rear and had no flashlight of my own. I had to watch his every step as the light revealed what was on the ground beneath my husband’s feet. By the time I stepped where he had been, it would be totally dark.
I carefully navigated the path focused on the light ahead of me. As I was walking, the Lord spoke to me very clearly, “My Word is a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path!” I had a graphic picture of His Word guiding me. The looming darkness obscured hazards beneath my feet while hiding the path upon which I needed to walk. The light illuminated only the next step ahead. At first, I was a bit fearful because I had to trust the light before me. Soon, however, I became sure that the light was a guide to my safe arrival to the campsite. It kept me from stumbling and falling on the dark, lonely hillside.
It would have been the same 2,000+ years ago before the birth of Jesus. The voice of God through His prophets had been silent for 400 years because most of the people had turned from the Lord. Only a remnant remained faithful. Sin was rampant, much like our world today. Darkness had covered the earth. It was the kind of darkness that caused hopelessness, fear, and an oppressing dread of the future. It was at that time the Light of the World exploded into the darkness; His star was pointing the way to the stable in Bethlehem.
The Bible encourages us that when sin abounds, the Grace of God abounds all the more. (Romans 5:20). I believe that it is because God knows the pleasures of sin are only temporary. Eventually one recognizes that sin creates bondage. It is a cruel slavery that robs us of our peace and fills us with fear, guilt and shame. That bondage, however, exposes our need for a Savior. Feeling condemned by our own guilt and shame, we discover that we are not alone; all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). The Light of the world shines on our brokenness and points to our hope, the Savior.
The star of Bethlehem led the shepherds and wise men to the place where the Light of the World lay. Jesus’ birth was celebrated by all of heaven and the starry hosts singing over His manger. The glory of God would be revealed in the earth when the fullness of time would come for the Savior to show God’s love to the people. Jesus displayed to the world the Love of God through His forgiveness of our sins and the Power of God through healing and delivering all who were bound.
By His death on the cross, Jesus proved the profound unconditional Love of God for all mankind. By His resurrection, He demonstrated the fathomless Power of God to set us free and empower us to follow in His footsteps. Millenniums later, we find ourselves still able to experience true freedom through the forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from the bondage of sin. Two thousand years later, we can still celebrate His birth with joy and peace knowing He still lights our path and guides us to safety.
There is no true peace without God and there is no true freedom without the Savior. The Word of God is as true today as it was when God spoke to Moses. All those who call upon and believe in the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21). Those who seek Him shall find Him, when they seek Him with all their heart. (Jeremiah 29:13). Becoming a disciple of Jesus is the most exciting adventure of a lifetime. Heaven opens up the realities of God, proving His Word is Truth, transforming His disciples into His image as we seek to know Him and His ways.
Heaven desires to invade the earth, but God is seeking those who will believe and walk in faith to see His peace established in the earth and His love pervading in every heart. As He lights the believer’s path, He desires us to illuminate others by revealing Him. We do so by allowing His light to shine through us to the lost and broken.
His light shines on our path as we seek Him. It leads us to not only be healed and freed from our bondages, but to testify what God has done for us so that those we meet can also be free. It leads us to bear the burdens of others just as He bore our burdens for us. It leads us to reveal His Glory to others as He did for us and to love the unlovable as He loves us.
His Light dispels all darkness. His Light reveals all things that have been hidden. His Light exposes that which is false and illuminates that which is truth. His Light will carry us through the darkest nights and give us victory over our greatest challenges. His Light gives us the courage to keep moving, and the faith to trust in Him. His Light assures us of His constant companionship and the greatest of loves.
We celebrate the Light of the world because no matter how dark our world becomes, His Light will show us the way home if we will trust Him to guide our footsteps. The darkness cannot overpower the Light.
May all see His Light and allow Him to lead them to peace and safety. Jesus truly is the Light of the world!