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So This Is Christmas

One of the wonders of Christmas is its light. In the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas Day comes just a few days after the winter solstice, the “bleak midwinter,” the longest night of the year. We should be depressed by the darkness. Instead we revel in it because of the glorious light all around—on trees, on houses, in stores and public places. We light candles and stoke fireplaces so we can enjoy their warmth and light.

When it’s the darkest, light is a gift from the one who created it. As recorded in Scripture, these are the first words God spoke: “Let there be light.” By that simple yet all-powerful command enough light came to brighten and give life to our otherwise dark and empty planet.

Since that first day of creation, darkness has remained, not only in the world but also in the human heart. When the prophet Isaiah described the people as “walking in darkness,” he didn’t mean they were physically in the dark. They were spiritually bleak and without hope.

And so God sent a great light, foretold by the prophet: “On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

It would be 700 years before the great light would physically come to earth from the Father of lights, but the prophet provided a magnificent description that defied logic and transcended time.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonder Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This child, this Son, this light has dispelled the darkness for all people. “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world, “ writes John the apostle. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

It would be wonderful if everyone lived in the light of God’s Son. The reality is that the darkness remains. John’s assessment is rather stark: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people love darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

Yet hope remains because the light remains. On the longest night of the year, there is hope because of the light of the Son. “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light,” John reminds us, “so that it may be seen that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

So this is Christmas: a beacon pointing to the true light of the one who was, and is, and is to come.

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Stan's entire life has been wrapped in content: selling, writing and publishing books and resources that help ordinary people capture a glimpse of extraordinary things.