Monday, December 13, 2010

Sermon: John 1: 1-5 The Word is Light

Is anyone afraid of the dark? Why is that? Perhaps it's because it's so dark, you can't see; you might bump into something; you don't know what's there. When does it get dark? At night time - especially as it's getting dark earlier and earlier these days - so you need to put on the lights to see, to read, to do your homework, and to get about.

But what if the lights go out? What if there's a power cut? Your mum or dad might have some candles sitting at the ready, so that if the lights go out, you can light the candles and still see. Or if you're going outside in the dark, then you might need a torch to show the way. We need light to see.

In our Bible reading, we heard about 'the Word'. Here's what it said:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

You might not have known what all that was saying. It seems a bit complicated. But if I tell you that the Word is another name for Jesus, then it becomes so much easier to understand:

In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God. (John 1:1 par.)

All things were made by Jesus - Jesus was involved in creation, all that we can see. But do you remember, right at the start of the Bible, when God created, the world was in darkness. So what does God do first? What's the first thing that God does as he begins creation?

And God said, "Let there be light." (Genesis 1:3)

God speaks, and it happens. God says light, and there is light. God's word gives light. Jesus gives light to the world.

But because of our sin - the wrong things we do, as well as the right things we haven't done - the world is in darkness. Spiritual darkness. Jesus is described as the light of the world, who came into the world. Just think of the Christmas carol: 'Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light.'

Jesus, the light of the world, came into the world, but people didn't like Jesus shining his light, showing up their sins. The truth is that we prefer darkness to light. And so Jesus was crucified, as people tried to put out his light, stop his light, kill his light.

The last verse of our passage, though, gives us the good news of Christmas:

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

Just think for a moment if the power went out when you were at home. The room is in darkness. But then your mum or dad lights a candle. It's not dark any more. Darkness cannot put out the light. The light wins. In the same way, the darkness could not stop Jesus' light. Even though he was crucified, he was raised to life, his light still shines. Jesus wins!

Later in John's Gospel, Jesus says this: 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.' (John 8:12) Which do you prefer? Sitting in the darkness, or having the light of life?

This sermon was preached at the Nativity Family Service in St Elizabeth's Church, Dundonald on Sunday 12th December 2010.

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