The Light for All Seasons

Written by Keith Ashley

December 5, 2022

I have noticed that the closer the Christmas season approaches, the lights become a little brighter—especially in the stores, because the brighter and more colorful the lights, the more attention they draw! The brightest light of them all was over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. It was not the star in the sky, but the Star that lay in the manger. The Light of the universe came down and shone while amongst His creation. In speaking of the coming Messiah, the prophet Isaiah said,

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Then Isaiah gave the well‐known prophecy about the Messiah saying,

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

In describing this marvelous event, John said that Jesus, the Word, was in the beginning with God, and who was God, and in whom there was life, and that life was the light of men, and that this light then came down and dwelt with us. (John 1)  The Light of God Himself, Jesus Christ, came down and shone upon all humanity!

There are a few attributes of light that are relevant to our lives:

Light Guides Our Steps:

Just as a lighthouse guides ships through dangerous waters, so does the light of Jesus guide us through the darkness of this world. Jesus came to give our lives direction. Even at His birth, a special star guided the magi to their destination.

Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, prophesied of the coming Messiah that He came…

“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79)

Of His time here on earth Jesus said,

“A little while longer the Light is with you. Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.” (John 12:35)

Yet even after His death, His light does not fail. He told His disciples that He would not leave them alone, but would send them the Holy Spirit (The Comforter) who would guide them into all truth, and bring everything to remembrance of what He had said.

Light Attracts Attention:

Our eyes are immediately drawn to light. When you enter a dark room and there is a single light source shining, like a lamp or candle, your eye is

Immediately drawn to it. It will be the first thing you see. When you are outside at night, when a bolt of lightning flashes across the sky, your eyes are immediately drawn to the light. Isaiah, when speaking about the coming Messiah, said the same thing in the Scripture we looked at a moment ago. Let’s look at it again.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2 )

This was a prophetic word about how the Messiah is going to light up the world when He comes. All who live in this sin‐darkened world will sit up and pay attention. In other words, people are going to be attracted to His light.

Considering the timing and the conditions surrounding Jesus’ birth, His birth attracted a lot more attention than anyone would have thought.

  • His (earthly) parents were poor, and no one really notices another child being born to poor parents. It wasn’t like they were rich and famous or of royal nobility.
  • He was born away from His home. There were no family members to brag about Him to neighbors and friends.
  • He was born in a stable with animals as roommates in a small insignificant town called Bethlehem. In fact, He wasn’t even born in the town, but rather on the outskirts.
  • He was born at night, while everyone was asleep.

Light Exposes Reality:

Did you ever wonder why two lovers like to have romantic dinners by candlelight? It is because in a darkened room we look a whole lot better. All our flaws, wrinkles, and hair loss are not as noticeable.

In the same way, most crimes are done at night under the cover of darkness. Jesus pointed this out to those coming to arrest Him. He asked why they didn’t arrest Him during the day. Then He said it was because their hour was darkness. They loved the darkness more than the light. The darkness conceals the reality, but Jesus said that darkness really is not our friend.

“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:20)

If we are trying to conceal our sin, and if we do not want to be exposed, we do not try to escape the darkness—we embrace the darkness. That is why so many of us run away from Jesus Christ. It’s because His presence—His light— exposes our sins. This was part of His purpose in coming. To reveal humanity’s true condition. Jesus would reveal to both Jews and Gentiles the truth about humanity’s true condition before a holy and righteous God. On the day of Jesus’ circumcision, Simeon, who had been waiting for the Messiah, said,

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30‐32)

As sinful creatures, we love the cover of darkness. However, once exposed to the light of Jesus Christ, we are never content to walk in darkness again. Even though we sometimes slip back into our old ways and habits, there is still within us the light of Jesus, revealing the truth. He has a purpose for our lives. This brings us back to walk in the light of His truth. Jesus Christ is the spiritual light that shines in the darkness of this world and in the darkness of our souls to bring everlasting life to all who will believe in Him. In the end there will be no need of either the sun or moon, but the glory of God will illuminate the entire world (Revelation 21: 23), and Jesus is that light. Just as Jesus was the light in the beginning of Creation, so will He be the light of the new heaven and earth. Jesus truly is the Bright and Morning Star. After Jesus forgave the woman of her adultery, He said,

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Jesus using the phrases “light of the world” and “light of life” is not without significance. In the end, Jesus is going to be the only light shining.

“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)

And so, it is to this darkened sin‐filled world that Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.” (John 12:46)

We have a choice. We can choose Jesus and live eternally in heaven in His light—or we can choose the world and live eternally in darkness separated from God in hell. But the reality is that no one chooses darkness, rather they reject the light and thus stay in the darkness. Merry CHRISTmas to all!

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved…And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17,19). SR

Keith L. Ashley is a longstanding fellowship member of the Toronto Seventh Day Baptist Church, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he currently serves in various roles. His field of profession is within the York District School Board, as a Health & Intervention Worker. Keith’s family consists of his three children: Luke, Malachi, and Christian; and his wife, Natasha. He is an avid fan of playing and watching sports, volunteer outreach initiatives within surrounding communities, doing art and poetry, studying animals, and a self‐proclaimed “foodie at heart”. His perspective of living a wholistic life is, “No fear in progression: The 2 Timothy 1: 7 way of living”!

Like the article? Read the rest in this month’s Sabbath Recorder here.

You May Also Like…

Storytelling With

Storytelling With

I can remember the scene vividly, even now, decades later. The pastor would call the children up to the front pew...