In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7 ESV)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. (Isaiah 9:2 ESV)
The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16 ESV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-4,14 ESV)
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Gen. 1:3 ESV)
Let there be light, and there was light. God had spoken. The silence was over. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! As one star pierced through the darkness the promise of God had been renewed. Once more would Israel rule over her enemies, once more would she celebrate the triumph of her King. The prophets had not lied to them after all, their words had not been in vain. Let the celebration begin.
There is a funny thing about light – it cannot be defeated. It can be covered or disseminated, but it does not die. Take away the thing which blocks it, and it regains and restores in full force. It cannot be squelched. When light and darkness face off, light always wins. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, light is winning.
Take for example a room of your house at night. It is dark – lights off, sun down, blinds drawn. The room is nearly overwhelmed in darkness. But from one little spot, emanates the faintest nightlight. And so you see, light is winning. Objects are visible. Potential danger can be seen. A path to our destination can be determined. All because of the smallest and most inefficient light.
It often seems as though our light is small. How could the influence of merely one person, one small church, or one group of people really impact and push back the darkness that is consuming our world? Why should we even bother? What possible good could come out of me or us trying to be light in this single situation? Perhaps your questions is more about efficiency. Am I actually being light? Am I helping in these times? Is the light I am trying to share doing anything to fight against the darkness that has overtaken so many? You and I feel like, small, inefficient lights in a darkened world.
But light is winning. A meal cooked for someone who has recently lost a loved one. A prayer offered up with someone who’s life is seemingly in despair. A driveway shoveled or garbage can pushed back in for someone who can’t do it themselves. Light is winning. Money given to help someone pay their mortgage when they’ve lost their job. Or finances given to help put presents under the tree for someone this year. Light is winning. Building houses for those who have none, bringing Bibles to people who have never heard, making strides to end the trade of human lives. Light is winning. One small thing at a time.
There can be no smaller thing than a baby, it seems. Helpless, crying, seemingly incapable of doing anything for themselves much less for anyone else. It would seem inconceivable that a baby would bring hope, joy or peace to anyone, much less to an entire nation. And yet, with the birth of a single child on one night, light broke in. Where there had been silence, there was now the promise of a King. Where darkness once had overtaken them, now light was winning.