07. Comprehending the Darkness: Have you experienced the beginning?

If you are overcome with darkness, could it be you’ve not experienced the light source? Have you missed Christmas? Let’s start at the beginning.

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:5).

The story of beginnings

Read the story of beginnings in Genesis 1:1-3 and John 1:1-13.

We’ve been talking about Zechariah and Elizabeth and the baby God promised them. Baby John was a special baby. He was sent to prepare the way for God’s own Son. The world had been waiting. When would the promised Redeemer come? Finally God’s Son arrived, but few people noticed. John proclaimed his glory.

Notice especially John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

As I write this it is Christmas Eve here in the central U.S. An ice storm is predicted for our area, and much of the US tonight. It is supposed to worsen over Christmas and the day after, making travel difficult. The dark gloom of sadness falls as some realize they will not get to be with loved ones as planned.

Others have lost family members, and their hearts are heavy with loss this Christmas. They wait. When will the darkness go away?

How does darkness understand light?

The world waited for the birth of Jesus long ago. Most people missed it when it came. Today, some of us are still waiting. Oh, yes, we know Jesus is the Light of Christmas. But how do we comprehend or understand the Light through this darkness?

The best way I’ve found to comprehend the Light is through God’s Word.

“In the beginning…God said…” (Genesis 1:1,3).
“In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1:1).

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1).
“He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:2-3).

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:5).

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4).

Experiencing the beginning

Have you experienced the beginning?

John 1:11-12 says, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

Oh, yes, you’ve read the Christmas story. You’ve imitated other Christians. You’ve said all the right things. You’ve tried hard to measure up. But you fail. Over and over again, you stumble.

You’ve tried to convince yourself that the light you have is real. But why is it so dim? Could it be merely the reflection of light from other Christians who are sharing their light with you? Have you missed the real Light Source? Have you missed Christmas?

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:10-11).

Are you struggling to understand the Light? Stop struggling and receive Him. He has freely given you the right to be born of God. That same light that was born in Bethlehem in human flesh so long ago can be born in your heart right now. Receive Him like this:

I’ve been like those Paul wrote to Timothy about, “having a form of godliness but denying its power…” (2 Timothy 3:5). I don’t want to stumble along in the reflected light of someone else any longer.

I keep trying to stay in the Light, but I keep losing it. I want the Light to be born in me so I never again have to be without it.

Lord, I don’t understand all this means, but I believe Jesus is the true Light. I know I’ve been living in darkness and rebellion, away from God.

I believe you when you say I can be born of God. I don’t understand, but I believe. Please forgive me for my rebellion against your desires for me. I receive you, the Light, into my own heart right now. I’ve waited so long for this. Thank you, Jesus! Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, or if you need more help with this, please visit our Seekers page.

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted