The first Sunday of Christmas and we read these words. No more story of baby Jesus, no wise men, no shepherds and unlike other denominations no story of Jesus at twelve. Instead we read these mystical words of John, "In the beginning..." there was light and the darkness has not overcome it.
Isn't that a Christmas message. The fight of light and darkness. The unknown power of love and intimacy. The closeness of God to the son of God. John takes us to where it all started, the beginning, to Genesis, to let there be light. He does so poetically, mystically, deeply into belief's core.
Let's listen to these words again. Read John again...don't these words stir our imagination, lead us deeper into belief, deeper into relationship with God.
Light and dark play a major role in belief in John. Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the dark of night and doesn't understand Jesus words about being born again, the woman at the well Jesus meets at midday and she believes, even though she doesn't understand either. The disciples are lost in the Sea of Galilee at night and Jesus brings them immediately to the other side.
We could say we are in the night and we have the ability to shine our light if we so choose. We can get caught up in hopelessness. Young people dying, by accident or by hate, hateful words being said and yet John bids us to testify to the light. From Sosthen in the refugee camp in Uganda, far from Lui, far from home, rejoice things are not that bad. Believe.
Faith, faith born in a manger to a dangerous world. Faith that points to the light in our lives even in the deepest darkness. Faith that pulls us through dark times. Faith that sends the disciples out from an upper room hiding to all night fishing and meeting Jesus on the beach in the early morning light. Feed my sheep, says Jesus to Peter. Show the light to the world.
Read these words one more time, let them soak into your wounded soul, let the light come into the cracked and broken places. Rejoice. (Read John). Now how will you testify to the light of love?