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Jesus: light in the darkness

December 26, 2022

Daily Scripture

John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
4 through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

When John wrote Jesus’ story, he focused on the event’s profound spiritual meaning rather than on the physical facts Luke and Matthew had reported. Yet the key elements came through in John as much as in those other gospels. In Matthew, the magi followed a star in the darkness (Matthew 2:10). In Luke, the glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds at night (Luke 2:9). John described Jesus’ coming with the words, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

  • “In the beginning,” in any language, carries us back to Genesis 1:1, to mysterious realms of which even today’s science is just scratching the surface. But John didn’t say the Word “began” in the beginning; he said the Word “was.” That meant Jesus has always been here and will always be here. He was and is more than just a good man. He is eternal; he is God. In what ways does that shape and deepen your faith?
  • John’s preface daringly linked Greek and Hebrew ideas. Greek thinkers said “the Word” (Greek logos) was “the divine reason that orders the universe.” * The Hebrew Bible’s first words (“in the beginning”) said God spoke everything into being. That, for John (and other Christians—cf. 1 Corinthians 1:23), “the Word” was not abstract, but the actual person, Jesus of Nazareth, startled both cultures. In what ways does Jesus, God in flesh, show you more clearly what God is like?

Lord, you were (and are) light to our darkness. You came to restore and uplift your entire creation. Help me play my humble part in that vast, saving mission. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley serves as the Online Connection and Care Pastor at Resurrection. After seven years of higher ed in religion, she finally understands that she can't figure out God (no matter how hard she tries). She’s leaning into the challenge to move from a thinking-based faith to loving God with both her head and heart.

It always helps me to see it. My family loves to play games together. Inevitably this week while we’re together for the holidays, we’ll learn a new game. I always pay attention to whoever is explaining it verbally, even though I know ultimately, I will understand it best once I see it.

I felt that same way on Christmas Eve when the candlelight was passed. I heard what it meant that Jesus entered into our dark world as the Light, but it helped me to see it. I understood it best once the room was dark and the light entered in and gradually filled it.

When I think about one of the reasons God would show up in our world, I wonder if it is because God understood we needed to see it. Jesus shows us with his life what it can look like to live our lives. And so I wonder about people who are looking for light in this world. Perhaps the same thing applies=–they might understand that light best by seeing it.

What I know from the whole story, not just the Christmas story, is that God desires to use us as light in the world so that others can see and understand the Light. So may the light we carry from Christmas shine for all people, so they might see God’s light.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Location 239424). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.