Day 3 : John 1:4-5 The light shines in the darkness
One of the struggles I have with John’s gospel is the way he deliberately uses the same word in different ways, not to try and confuse us, but to stretch and help us work hard at understanding. To move us on past the easy and simplistic. A great example of that is what John means by light in his gospel, and indeed what he means by light in these two verses for this morning.
Taking a big step back, John will say that Jesus is the Light of the World – and that seems to be light both (1) in terms of a light of revelation and rescue (in the darkness someone both to listen to, trust and follow – imagine you’re lost in a cave and someone comes with a torch helping you find your way out) but also (2) in terms of an ethical or righteous light (a light of goodness and justice – imagine a room full of dark and evil deeds, selfishness and greed, and in comes someone pure and perfect – we would likely hide all the more as we fear being exposed).
When John talks about light it’s probably both of these; when Jesus the light, exposes our sin and darkness, he also provides a way to be rescued from it.
It’s clear too that his light is not extinguished by darkness – even the darkness of the cross at the end of the gospel. With a new morning, an empty tomb and a new beginning so the son rises and shines and his light will never go out again.
Which is good for us to remember and reflect upon because it’s been a really dark year in many ways, no doubt with tears and confusion and frustration. It’s not been the year we hoped for.
It’s also more than likely that the ‘darkness’ of 2022 has ended up revealing some more of the truth of the darkness inside each of us? Our lack of love, joy, peace or patience? Perhaps not being not in control has shown us the wrong things we’ve trusted in? Perhaps it’s revealed anxiety or discontent?
Well remember it’s into that darkness that Jesus shines.
Look to him, follow him, hold onto him and, in a dark world, hold him out to others.