Light in the Darkness


Let's talk about light for a second.

Now, for those of you who failed high school science this might be reliving some painful memories, but bear with me as we unpack some basic science in regards to what we know as light. 

The theoretical physicist Albert Einstein once suggested, "For the rest of my life, I want to reflect on what light is."  Perhaps Einstein was onto something. 

Light is foundational to our lives, in fact all of us depend on light every single day for many of our most basic needs and we do this all without ever even noticing the things that are dependent on light. 

For example, photo-synthesis.  That's the chemical process you learned about in grade school, the process that plants and algae use to capture energy from the sun - using carbon dioxide and water to convert sunlight into food.  This process actually sustains physical life.  As humans oxygen and water depend on this process.  No light means no photosynthesis and no photosynthesis is very bad for life on this planet. 

Another interesting fact about light is the speed at which light travels. Light travels at the speed of 299,792,458 meters per second. Nothing can outrun the speed of light.  This means that if for some odd reason you hypothetically tried to flee a car driving at the speed of light, whether you run at 5 mph, 10 mph, or even half the speed of light, you'll be hit by the car in a seeming instant. 

Nothing can out run the light. 

In the Gospel of John, John writes these incredible words about the Light: 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John re-iterates what we know about the physical world and applies it to how he talks about Jesus. The darkness cannot ever overcome the light. The darkness cannot over power the light, the darkness cannot get away from the light, and the darkness cannot defeat the light.  

@@The light always wins.@@ 

And in the midst of a world filled with repeated reminders of the darkness, we need the repeated reminder that light always wins. No matter how evil, no matter how fast, no matter how great the darkness is - it can never outrun the light.  Jesus himself says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  

In the midst of the darkness the Light shines and the light over powers the darkness. In the midst of the darkness, the Light gives life in all the dead places.

One modern hymn writer, Dustin Kensure said it this way: 

“This is war, like you ain’t seen
The winter’s long, it’is cold and mean
with downcast hearts, we stood condemned
the tide turns now at Bethelehem.”  

And again…

“This is war, on sin and death
The dark will take it’s final breath
It shakes the earth, confounds all plans
the mystery of God as man.” 

Consider Paul's words in Ephesians 6:12… “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

@@The Light of the world comes in the manger and sets us free from the darkness. @@The Light of the world threatens the darkness and the darkness cannot outrun it.  When the darkness overwhelms us and threatens our life, the Light offers us life.  When the darkness gives us a place to hide from reality, the Light offers us the opportunity to be honest and be set free from shame and guilt. When the darkness seeks to destroy us and take our life away, the Light seeks to redeem us and shines into the darkness places. 

No matter how dark, no matter how broken, no matter how messed up, we are reminded, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

 

Comment