Darkness Is The Absence Of Light
I heard a disturbing report the other day. No, it wasn't anything to do with football players jumping into Salvation Army kettles and not getting fined by the NFL. (Google Ezekiel Elliot)
I was listening to Rev FM radio and heard the DJ share a startling report. She said, "It has been discovered the weeks leading up to Christmas and weeks afterward find funeral directors hiring extra help and psychiatrists and psychologist usually do not plan vacations during this season. The reasons behind these unusual occurrences are that so many people struggle with darkness and thoughts of death and loss. I puzzled over that report the rest of Monday and into Tuesday morning.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy filled waiting and celebrations revolving around Jesus' birth. The prophet Isaiah made huge claims about the one who would come to save His people.
"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:1-2, NIV)
Why, when the focus of the season is on the hope for the world found in Jesus, do we hear of so much pain, suffering, depression, and suicide? Is the message of Jesus and His power not being lived out in tangible ways by the church? Maybe, and maybe not. I need to revisit my witness and how I share the love and light of Christ to those I meet. Am I doing all the good that I can and doing no harm to those around me?
I also think the voice of the deceiver is alive and well in our world and those who suffer greatly during Christmas are being deluded into thinking all is lost. Too bad, because Jesus actually came to win back all that Satan has tried to rob from humanity. When darkness overcomes light, then science is set on its ear. Light overcomes darkness. Darkness doesn't even exist. Yet, when we become disenfranchised and lose contact with Jesus, darkness seems to win. The woman caught in adultery was about to be stoned and Jesus interceded for her. Right after all her accusers dropped their stones and walked away, Jesus said the following....
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:1-12, NIV)
Imagine, your sin has found you out and the punishment is death by stoning and in one brief encounter, your sentence is set aside by the Savior of the world.
Friends, if you are walking through a dark time in your life right now, please know you have a friend in me. You have a greater friend in Jesus. Please know that Christmas, while it might make you feel gloomy, was never designed to cast a shadow over our souls. Christmas is a turning point in history (From Before Christ to Anno Domini). Christmas is an entrance of eternal hope into humanity that was well on its way to turmoil and destruction.
If you feel great this time of year, then keep your eyes and ears open to family, friends, coworkers, and classmates and be on the alert to signs of depression, chronic sadness, and comments about darkness. Shine the light of Christ that is within your heart into their darkness and bring a glimmer of hope back into focus. Remind them of the broken world we live in and the great Savior who loves us.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)
Live each day in such a way that God's light within you pushes back the dark and brings another child of God's creating back into the light.