For those of us who enjoy the luxury of living in 2017 North America, the darkness is barely a concern. Darkness does not stop us from much of anything. All we need to do is flip a switch or push a button. The lamp comes on, the headlights shine, the darkness is a nuisance that is easily worked around. When we hear from the Gospel of John “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it,” our every day and night experience confirms this.
In the gospel of John, darkness can be nighttime, but it also conveys the aftermath of sin and the worst sin of all – lack of faith in God, lack of faith in Christ.
In John 9, Jesus and his disciples come upon a man born from birth. The question is asked: “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” In the imagination of some, waking up everyday and seeing nothing but darkness is punishment for sin.
Jesus heals the man. As chapter 9 progresses, the Pharisees are brought in. Turns out that there is more to darkness and seeing than what meets the eye. The blind man has faith in Christ and lives in the Light. The Pharisees see just fine, but have no faith in Jesus as the Christ, live in darkness. To live without faith in Christ, is, according to the Gospel of John, to live in darkness.
Jesus is God Incarnate. He is born into a world that swirls with sin and its dreadful, soul killing consequences. People are perpetually putting their faith into the wrong things.
Jesus bumps up against this darkness. Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh. He is the Light in whom there is no darkness at all. And this Light does not flip on and off. He is on all the time.
This morning we rejoice that Christ is born to us. His light continues to radiate into the darkness. His light draws us to Him. And, the darkness can never overcome Him.
All God’s people say…Amen.