This post is also being posted today in my blog LIFE MATTERS.
BY STEVE DUNN
My devotions this morning were from John, chapter 1. It is sometimes referred to as John’s “Nativity Story.” In that chapter speaking of Jesus’ arrival in the flesh, John writes:
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1.4-5 ESV
Sadly this Advent and Christmas I have found myself reflecting too often on the dark times in which we live. Our economy is not in good shape, the homelessness problem unabated,, the worship of guns and the random or terroristic violence in our streets has grown.
The government is now in a shut-down. The President has dismissed or chased away any advisors who disagree with him or would offer a counter way of looking at the world. The political atmosphere in our country is beginning to resemble the Watergate days of my college years. Both major parties seem more intent in cultivating the ideological extremes on both ends of the spectrum rather than find a middle way that is best for all.
Russia and other powers that have long been the enemies of democracy are once again ascending in influence and power. People are fleeing the crime-ridden nations in which they live but are being rejected and feared by a nation that fears they will impact the places where they seek asylum.
Oxycodone and other drugs have invaded the homes of the Middle Class. The Church is viewed with increasing suspicion because of the child abuse coverups in a portion of the churches in our land. Trade wars being fought in the name of our workers are hurting the workers in many industries and on farms. Secularity has taken deep root in the worldview of our culture while evangelicalism has been badly diluted by the so-called “self-identified evangelicals” so pursued by the politicians and media.
It is a depressing list. Yet I could name anecdotally hundreds of stories of ordinary people and local church communities and neighborhoods rallying in their small way to combat the darkness that has descended upon their individual communities
But I know that they alone will not be enough.
What the world needs is the One who is “the light of men. The light that shines in the darkness” The Light which the darkness CANNOT overcome. More than keeping Christ in Christmas, we need to keep Christ in our hearts transforming into people of light. We need this to be going on daily. And we need to be inviting and assisting people to let this light into their hearts,
It will not be enough for our politicians and leaders and schools and government and communities and churches to become more “enlightened.” The growing belief that there is “fake news” allows us to hold onto darkness and that darkness will always find a welcome home in a heart that is not occupied by Jesus.
Now, more than ever, the world needs Jesus.
© 2018 by Stephen L. Dunn. You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to http://www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org