Christmas should not depress or exhaust us but should transform us! Each year, my highlight of this season is to reflect on Jesus, the light of the world entering human history as a baby to begin a global invasion of everything good (John 1:5–8). Through the purity, goodness, and love that emanated from Jesus resting in the manger, to the present-day insurgence of these same qualities emanating through God’s people, human history substantially shifted toward goodness the day Jesus was born.
The apostle John captured the ubiquitous nature of this light by highlighting that John the Baptist pointed everyone to the light of Jesus, which “enlightens every man” (John 1:9). Amazing. Every person, whether they realize it or not, has been touched by the glorious presence of Jesus Christ, who loved this world by stepping into it.
But what is it about this light, the light of the world (John 8:12), that should transform us this Christmas? Here are some ways the light of Christ has touched me.
- Light clears the mind and sweeps away doubts. Likewise, it is through the glorious presence of Christ in our lives that we can think clearly.
- Light removes gloomy feelings. There’s a reason why a dejected person and a dark day are described as gloomy. Light is antithetical to everything that brings us down—light lifts our spirits.
- Light displaces darkness. The presence of Christ and His Spirit in us displaces the darkness of the world system and demonic realm that too often encroach upon us.
- Light exposes the lies that find their home in the shadows. Once lies are exposed we can reject them, finding freedom in the truth.
- Light gives hope for the future. When the light of Christ shines on our lives, and He gives us a glimpse of His calling for us—or even simply the next step—we see our ambition for the things of God dramatically increase.
I believe that King David understood these aspects of divine light when he said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?” (Ps. 27:1). This reality of light emanating from believers is even more important as we reflect on Isaiah’s description of light and darkness increasing throughout the earth: “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold darkness will cover the earth. And deep darkness the peoples . . .” (Is. 60:1–2).
I’m grateful that Jesus came as the light of the world. I’m grateful Christmas is on the calendar to recalibrate me to this truth every year. Regardless of your circumstances, realize that the light of the world has come and is here right now to fill you with His glorious presence. His light is here to displace every vestige of darkness, because light is not just what He brings but who He is. These realities, succinctly captured in Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, can change your life. They changed mine.
Joyful, joyful we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away,
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day.