Choosing Darkness Over Light
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 5:20, Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 3:1-15, Psalm 139:11-12, Proverbs 4:19, 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Section 1: The Light of the World
This will be the first Christmas we celebrate without Uncle Jimmy. On a horrible Saturday this past summer, I got a phone call with the crushing news that my uncle, my only local relative and childhood father figure, died by suicide.
My sister and I cried on FaceTime for hours, and once I finally fell asleep, I tossed and turned all night, dreaming about where it happened, thinking about our last conversation, remembering what his voice sounded like. I prayed for light to fill the dark spaces of my mind. I prayed for the goodness of God to work in spite of the evil that led to Uncle Jimmy’s death.
In today’s reading, we reflect on good and evil, light and darkness. We start at the beginning—the creation of mankind. Right there in Genesis 1, fresh off of His miraculous “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), when He made everything we know, God made people and He made them good. Humans lived in the light of God’s love and they had nothing to fear. But, by the time we get to Genesis 3, we see darkness enter the perfect garden. We witness the first humans believing the first lies and choosing darkness instead of light.
We read of the pain and heartbreak that never really left. We reflect on the birth of death and the curse of human hopelessness. The brokenness that began that horrible day in the garden still echoes here as it steals life and tries to exterminate our joy. The evil one still lures people into the dark, makes them think they are alone, and makes them believe they are lost and can’t be found.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.
Do you know who started the pursuit of darkness instead of light, the trading of good for evil? It was the serpent. It was our enemy. He modeled it first. And woe to the evil one who lies and steals and kills and destroys (John 10:10).
We’re all affected by darkness here in this broken world. We feel it acutely in the tragedies we face, and we even recognize it in our own flesh. Sometimes even rescued ones pursue darkness and hide from the light.
But those of us who are in Christ are not doomed to wander in darkness. We are the recipients of mercy and the heirs to the kingdom where no darkness can exist. Remember, it’s the first day of December. It’s the month we pay special attention to the reality that the Light of the World, Jesus Christ Himself, came to kill the dark to resurrect hope. The Light came and brought life.
Step into the light of 1 Timothy 1:15–17 with me, friends. It’s Christmas time. Darkness may have stolen from us and maybe it still hurts as we’re surrounded by our traditions and reminded of what and whom we’ve lost. But we aren’t hopeless ones who can’t see where we’re going. We’re sons and daughters of God, illuminated by His love. We’ve been forgiven. We’ve been led into the peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). May our days be merry and bright…