The Light Has Come

Feel the passion and conviction of John's words as he begins his letter:

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and appeared to us…this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." —1 John 1:1, 2, 5, NIV.

This introduction is similar to the beginning of John's Gospel when he wrote: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not understood it" —John 1:1-3, NIV

These references to light and life echo the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist who, finally recovering his voice, sings about the privilege his son will have to: "…go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace" —Luke 1:76-79, NIV.

An unusually brilliant star led some wise men to the Christ Child. In essence they followed the light of a star to get to THE Light. They presented gifts, worshiped him, and then disappeared off the stage of human history.

My guess is that those men were never the same again. The star was a discovery that might have launched them into the forefront of the astrological annals of the time. But surely more than three (or whatever the number actually was) men who studied the stars saw God's signpost in the sky. Many saw it. Perhaps some others beside the magi took the trouble to research the significance of its appearance and discovered that it signaled the birth of a king. Many knew what the coming of the star meant. But only these few men took the trouble to follow the light of one star to bask in the Light of the One the star had come to signal.

Here again is the story of Gospel painted with the brushstrokes of human experience. John describes Jesus as "The true light that gives light to every man" and then adds the somber note: "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" —John 1:9-11, NIV. Many see, many study, but not all follow.

We call those students of the stars "wise men," because they were smart enough to go beyond the discovery of a star and the research into its meaning. They followed the light of that star to its perfect end.

John writes: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" —1 John 1:7, NIV.

To enjoy the Life, the Light must not only be seen and studied; it must also be followed.

Comments

  1. they couldn't possibly have stayed the same. Love you last line -so true!

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