‘The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.’ (v9) But why did the light come? To answer that, I’m going to take you back about 10 years to a time when my children were small and we were in a supermarket. Isaac at the time was obsessed with torches. It seemed like every time we entered a shop which sold any sort of hardware, we would come out with another type of torch. And so one summer’s day, in the middle of the day, when it’s about as bright as it can possibly be, there we were, standing at the tills about to buy another torch with whatever was left of Isaac’s pocket money. Which we did.
And as we left the shop Isaac grabbed my arm and shouted: ‘Make it dark, Daddy, make it dark!’
It’s great isn’t it, when your kids are young and they think you can do everything. You not only look after them and play games and make their food and make them feel safe, but you can make it dark, you probably built the house they live in and made the car you drive. Electricity comes out of your fingertips and the planets move at your command. They don’t know that your knees are shot and you can put your back out just bending down to tie your shoelaces and you can barely rewire a plug, let alone build a house. You’re daddy, you can do everything: ‘Make it dark, Daddy, make it dark!’
The purpose of light is darkness. No point in light otherwise. That was true in the beginning: ‘The earth was formless and empty, and God said “Let there be light.”’ And it’s true now – as St John says: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (v5)
Looking around our world, there’s enough darkness, isn’t there? And if we’re honest, we know the darkness is not just out there, it’s in here – in our hearts. Greed, compassion fatigue, anger, pride… whatever it is, it’s a darkness that needs the light.
This is why the light came: to bring us life, to put an end to our darkness – ‘that life was the light of all humankind.’ (v4) And that light still shines in the darkness. It shines today, it shines in the hearts of millions around the world – and the darkness does not overcome it. Never has, never will.
Today, let’s give thanks for that light, a light which never fades or blows out, which brings us warmth and peace, guidance and security – as light always does. And perhaps take a few moments too, to pray that this beautiful light draws others to Jesus, people that you love.