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Monday, December 20, 2010

12/21/10 John 1:4-13 Light on the Longest Night

4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

(Lunar Eclipse 2010)

Thoughts: This passage has much to say about light.  Today is the Longest Night and shortest day.  It is made even longer because the total eclipse of the full moon will take place this morning between 2:41- 3:52 EST.  It is only the second time that the total eclipse has occurred on the winter solstice in the last 2,000 years (the last being 12/21/1638).
Jesus is called "the true light that gives light to everyone" and he was "coming into the world."  Even in our darkest nights, our lowest valleys, our dark nights of the soul, Jesus can give light and hope.  Real hope cannot be overcome by darkness, but as the darkness and sadness encounters it, it gives way.  The illusion is that darkness snuffs out the light- but reality is that light illuminates the darkness- making it flee away.  So Christ gives hope in the despair of the longest nights of our lives.  But we must truly look to Him. 

Prayer: Lord, let your hope grow in me, out of me, and into others.

John Calvin abridged: All the godly are light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8).  John was careful that his light not obscure the glory of Christ.  The disciples were called light (Mt. 5:14) because they held forth the torch of the gospel.  But Jesus is the eternal source of light of all.  Augustine says a teacher in the only school in town may be called the teacher of all even if others do not attend the school.  But I (Calvin) prefer to believe that the rays of Christ's truth are spread over all- so that there is no one who is not somehow reached with some perception by the light of Christ.  But this is not the light of faith here, but the light of reason/nature.

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