Light Of The World
This year I joined in No-Shave November, an effort to bring awareness and funding for cancer prevention, research, and education. “We won’t shave our hair because many with cancer lose theirs.” Not sure that part makes sense, but it’s a good cause.
My goatee turned into a full beard and, I might add, a white one. All was going nicely when one evening Violet, my 5-year-old granddaughter, hugged me goodnight. “It tickles,” she laughed. “You look like Santa Claus.” I made plans to shave.
Perspective is an interesting thing. How we interpret what we see, hear or read can depend heavily on our age, education, culture, religion or lack thereof, and especially expectations. Our background can even obscure our sight of what’s going on.
Not the sun, but the true Light rising.
Preparing for the Christmas Season, I recently read the celebration of Zachariah in Luke 1:68-79. He praised God for the birth of His son, John the Baptist, and what God would do in and through him. He also was likely happy that he could speak again.
But this time I saw something that didn’t seem quite right. …the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.1 So I decided to dig deeper.
Zachariah wasn’t shouting about a sunrise from heaven. The ancient Greek refers to a light rising from on high. The Messiah was coming from God. As John would write, The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.2
The Light shines in the darkness.3
And that darkness? The word comes from skotos which means obscurity…being unknown, insignificant, irrelevant, unimportant, where life is meaningless, aimless, hopeless. Those who suffer from depression understand this darkness all too well.
Rather than describing a heavenly sunrise, Zachariah shouted for all to hear him that the Light Of The World was coming. God was sending the long-awaited Messiah to lift those living in terrible darkness. And He was bringing hope and love.
This year many struggled. Lonely and desperate, they fell into obscurity. Maybe you struggled, too, or know someone who has. I have good news. Jesus has come. Follow Him and you will never walk in darkness again.4
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Luke 1:78-79. This is the NIV but most translations refer to a sun, sunrise, dayspring, or dawn. (2) Read John 1:9. (3) Read John 1:6a. (4) Read John 8:12.
Pictures: Banner Shot: Flock of Sheep in Saibi Mountain by Mimadeo, Getty Images/iStockphoto. 1st Photo: Kris Krug/Flickr. 2nd Photo: Morning Light by Chuck Graham. 3rd Photo: John 1:5 (NLT), TheNLT.com, Tyndale House Publishers.