A Prayer for the True Light of Christmas
By Tim Chester
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” - John 1:10-11
If this were a world of light, it would be easy to see the truth about Jesus. But this is a world in darkness, into which Jesus steps as the true light (v 9). Verses 10-11 remind us of why we need light—because we live in darkness.
This means that to “see” God’s kingdom—to understand its nature and welcome its coming—you need to be able to see in the dark. For that, you need help—you need the Spirit of God to make you a new person with new insight. Jesus says you need to be born again (John 3:3-8).
Jesus offers eternal life to rebellious subjects. But we prefer darkness and death to life in the light. We don’t want to admit we need the King on the cross, dying for our sins. As a result, the cross looks like the epitome of shame to us rather than the epitome of glory. We call darkness light, and light darkness. We don’t recognize the light that has come to us.
Only the Spirit of God can open our eyes to the true light. Only the Spirit of God can enable us to recognize and receive the truth of these words with joy:“ The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world”.
He was in the world,
and though the world was made through him,
the world did not recognize him.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.
(It Came Upon the Midnight Clear)
the light of the minds that know you,
the joy of the hearts that love you,
and the strength of the wills that serve you:
grant us so to know you that we may truly love you,
so to love you that we may truly serve you, whose service is perfect freedom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Augustine of Hippo, 354-430)
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the article, “When You Prefer Darkness over Light,” written by Tim Chester. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved. Used by permission of The Good Book Company.
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Originally published Thursday, 24 December 2020.