Our day begins with the rising sun. The Jewish day begins as the sun disappears behind the horizon. In creation God stepped into the darkness and spoke, “Let there be light.” And there was light. Creation began in darkness with God bringing light and order to the chaos and bleak abyss. In celebration, the Jewish day begins in darkness with the promise of the returning light. Rather than starting the day with light, the Jewish philosophy is to look forward to the promised light. Their day ends with the absence of light following the setting of the sun.
This time of year, the week following Christmas, always seems bleak and dark. Do we take the decorations down? Do we leave them up a bit longer? Do I want to take the lights down or simply unplug them until next year? It’s a hazy and bleak experience of exhaustion between the holiday celebrations and a new year. The week of now, but not yet. It’s an odd week between the ending celebrations and the new year.
When the darkness overwhelms us, there is a promise of light to come. The sun will return. This is why John begins his book in the New Testament with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:1-5, NIV).”
“That life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
From here, the days will grow longer and thaw under the warmth of the light. Life returns, as it does every year. Though darkness may overwhelm our lives, the light will return.
Life will return.
God has promised to return life and light to all mankind. More, we have been made sons and daughters of God. When Jesus returns, he does not come to rescue humanity but to welcome brothers and sisters, heirs to the king. When Jesus became Immanuel, he elevated humanity through His sacrifice as heirs to the Kingdom of God.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we
cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8: 14-17).”
The darkness no longer has power over you. It does not have the power to overwhelm you, but will be chased away by the spirit and life living in you. You and I are the light of the world, a city on a hill chasing away the darkness and offering refuge. The darkness will not overwhelm you, for the spirit living within you is an eternal light penetrating the darkest corners of our lives and the lives around us.
You contain the power of life through the spirit within you.
The power to bring a new day on earth as it is in heaven. An eternal light where darkness cannot reside. Your power comes from sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus and your sacrifice to lift others up.
Live your purpose this year: Love and honor God; Love and honor your neighbor.
May you bring the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven this year.
May your light shine.
May your day end in light.