Seeing the Light
Open Your Bible
John 9:1-7, John 9:13-41, Acts 9:1-20, Acts 26:12-18, Colossians 1:9-14
Section 2: People of the Light
We do not sit on the sidelines of the story of redemption. We celebrate the first advent and eagerly anticipate the second because the incarnation changes everything—including us. Those who are in Jesus share in His call to be light to the world, a reflection of Him through the work of His Spirit. As we move toward Christmas Day, we’ll read Scripture calling us to respond to the arrival of our Savior by living as shining lights in this dark world.
There are many lovely things that are unique to nighttime. Watching shooting stars from a picnic blanket. Fireflies surprising you along the grass. The yellow glow from a lamp post. Christmas lights on a tree. In fact, these are things that can only be seen or appreciated at night. It’s the absence of light everywhere else that draws our attention to them. In this sense, the purpose of darkness is to point us to the radiance of light.
When Scripture refers to “darkness” or “the night,” it isn’t talking about the hours just after dusk. Instead, these words are used as symbols for spiritual blindness, bondage, or evil. The book of Acts captures God’s words to the apostle Paul just after his conversion: “I am sending you to them to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:17–18). To live in darkness, then, is to live a life apart from God.
Scripture is saturated with stories of how God’s light breaks into our darkness. And this is such a powerful reality because these are also stories of how God’s light breaks into us. In today’s readings, we see the light from heaven that struck Paul, followed by Ananias’s healing touch that returned his vision (Acts 9:3,17). This imagery becomes a hallmark of Paul’s forthcoming epistles. We also get the story of the blind man whose life was characterized by physical darkness until being miraculously healed. “One thing I do know,” he says, “I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25). This man didn’t know who Jesus was, but he had an inkling that he was holy (v.33). Having his sight restored is testimony enough for him.
Both stories demonstrate that seeing things as they really are, when your life has known nothing but darkness, can only come about by the power of the living God.
This Advent season, let’s remember that we are people of the light. Christ is the Light of the World that broke into our darkness (John 9:5), and now we carry this light within us. I don’t know about you, but it’s a little easier for me to remember this when our churches are filled with candles and the Advent wreath is lit. It makes the darkness of winter feel not quite as hollow and empty. Together, let’s follow Christ as He teaches us to see things as they truly are.