The Light Shines in the Darkness

By Greg Herring
light and darkness, Christmas

There’s just something about darkness.


For one, darkness creates fear.

Perhaps that fear is a result of not knowing what is there.

Darkness allows our imaginations to run wild because we cannot use our sight to correct our thoughts with the truth.

Fear about darkness is not completely irrational.

Criminals use darkness to their advantage. Much crime occurs under the cover of darkness.

My son studies criminal justice. He told me that after Edison invented the light bulb and public areas were lit, the police thought crime would end.

But the police were not considering the hearts of people.

The darkness of the night is not a root cause of crime.


It is the darkness of the heart.


In the creation story of Genesis, the earth is described as formless and void and dark. There was only darkness.

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. There are many descriptions of Jesus, but I want to focus on light.

One of the Jesus’ close friends, John, lets us know that Jesus’ existence preceded his birth in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.  He describes Jesus role in the creation story this way:

“He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”

Then John describes the essence of Jesus: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.”

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”


So what is this darkness? 


For people living 2000 years ago, darkness was a way of life. There was no electricity. People feared the dark for good reason. Many bad things happened in the dark. You could say darkness represents a lack of power – literally and metaphorically.

Darkness is also a lack of understanding of what is right and real and true.

Darkness can be a metaphor for sin – our actions that are an insult to God and which separate us from God – just as light is separated from darkness.

Sin often results in shame – another form of darkness.

The birth of Jesus provides a way out of the darkness.

Jesus said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”  A simple statement but one of great promise – for those who believe.

We may celebrate Christmas in a variety of ways, but the reason for Christmas always comes back to Jesus Christ and His coming as “Light into the world.”

Is Jesus the “Light of life” for you?


Want to explore more?  Here are several options:


  • Read the book of John – the fourth book of the New Testament of the Bible.  Get a version that is easy to read like the New International Version.
  • Read answers to common questions about Jesus at
  • Send me an email and let’s talk.


Merry Christmas!


The quotes are from the following passages in the New American Standard Bible:  Genesis 1:3-5, John 1:2-4, John 8:12, and John 12:46