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“The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:9)

A well-loved Christmas tradition around our house is the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. In the early evening as the sun is setting, we drive down to the church seeking a parking spot in an already crowded lot. Then, we step inside the sanctuary, pick a small candle from a basket at the door, and slide into an empty or nearly empty pew. By the time the service starts, we’re scrunched against each other—-but we’re warm and anticipating what is to come.

For the next hour, the Christmas story is told in bits and pieces between the singing of carols. The final candle on the advent wreath is lit. Then comes the moment we’ve all waited for, the dimming of the lights and the singing of Silent Night as a flame passes from one person to another—-up, down and across the rows of pews until everyone in the sanctuary holds their candles high and the light flickers and waves.

Light is vital to seeing our way through the darkness. And in the Bible, it was used in various ways.

It’s a symbol of life. If God hadn’t said, “Let there be light,” (Genesis 1:3) creation would have died out in no time.

Light is a symbol of bold faith. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Then, of course, there’s the star, pointing the Wise Men to Jesus. “We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2)

Numerous places in the Bible refer to Jesus as the light of salvation. In Isaiah, God described the future Messiah as a “light for the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:6), or “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 8:21) 

Next time you see a star, light a candle, or turn on a lamp, notice how it keeps you from tripping over things in the darkness and remember, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

This is the perfect time of year to welcome the Light into your life and make it a true Merry Christmas!

What say you? Do you know any other scriptures that refer to Jesus as the light (salvation) in a dark (sinful) world?

All scripture comes from the New International Version.