Devotional – January 6, 2021

Pastor David’s Devotional

John 1:5 and 9-12

5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

A few days ago, I was driving home from seeing my mother in Arizona. It was night and the sky was dark. Off in the distance I could see a light shining. I kept driving, and driving, and miles later I drove past the light—it was a single light bulb on a pole behind someone’s home. The light of that single bulb was visible for miles! That is how it is with light. Light overcomes darkness. Darkness does not overcome light.

Maybe you have had this experience: you walk into a pitch black room, so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face. So, you hit the on button on your cell phone, and the light that comes from the face of your phone is enough to keep you from bumping into things.

A light shining in the darkness reveals what would otherwise go unseen. The light I saw while driving home revealed a house in the desert, a house I would not have seen if not for that single bulb.

In the Gospel of John, we hear that Jesus is like a ‘true light, which gives light to everyone.” And, the light of Jesus Christ reveals a whole lot! Jesus reveals to us something about God: God is a God who loves us, who doesn’t give up on us, who wants what is best for us, and who promises us life. Jesus also reveals something to us about ourselves. By standing near to him, we see our brokenness and pain, and our sins and failures—Jesus reveals the truth about our lives. But, he also reveals the good news about our lives as he shows us not just who we are but also who we can become. In him, we see the power of love to transform our lives, and we see what it looks like for our lives to be defined by that love; defined by love, Jesus light shines through us.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says “You are the light of the world…let your light so shine before others that seeing your good works, they will give glory to God.” I know Jesus is the light of the world. I know some of what it is that he reveals. But, I don’t usually think of myself as a light that can reveal something about God nor do I think of myself as a light that can reveal something about who we are and who we can become. Yet, Jesus says to his followers “you are the light of the world…let your light shine.” I think about that single bulb shining in the darkness, visible for miles and wonder if my life shines brightly like that? Or is my life dim, like the face of a cell phone. Both lights reveal something. One is bright, one is dim. Or to change analogies, one is like a fire, the other is like a flicker. Which am I? Both can be seen. What does my life reveal about Jesus, about love, about the value of others? A little? A lot? I wonder. How about you?

God bless you, and stay well.

Pastor Dave