In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. John 1:4-5
It must have been hard 2000 years ago to recognize a poor couple's baby as the Light of Deliverance. Sure it was; most people didn't get it. The Jewish people were desperate and scared. They lived in fear of Roman oppression. Yet they missed hope when it appeared. Don't you think it is harder now to distinguish true light? We as Americans are still enjoying so many freedoms. We aren't in need of much, at least it is hard to make out that need under the growing pile of all we have accomplished and acquired. I have to think Christmas in more oppressed cultures must be so different. But even self-denial and deprivation wouldn't do it for us. Because what we are seeking doesn't have anything to do with us or what we can deny ourselves.
I think the above scripture holds the answer. His LIFE is the light. Not the benefits or changes he gives. They are good but they aren't the light. We want to find something that would give us the kind of feeling we get from falling in love, losing 50 lbs. or finding a new job. That is human nature. But acquiring is not the same as receiving. In acquiring, we control when the benefits appear. In receiving, we wait. We wait for an unexplained transformation to appear at an undetermined time. And all too often that just isn't good enough. Hence the rest of the first..."the darkness comprehendeth it not." The simple answer just isn't exciting enough so we pass by it and keep looking. We keep looking for that one thing that will change us, grow us, make us into what we know in our soul we were meant to be. The answer lies IN him. It is his life. And we are invited to live it.
I don't think the Life that is the light is not at all elusive. We just don't get it. What if we chose to cut back our schedule at Christmas and stay home a little more, prioritize family nights, read together and listen to what we have read? I think we'd realize that the Light we are looking for at Christmastime actually lies within a Life.
This is just what comes to my mind when I meditate on John 1:4-5. What does it mean to you?