The Light that shines in the darkness
Today’s reading comes from the very beginning of John’s Gospel. Before telling us the story of Jesus’s life, John sets the scene with this strange and mysterious Prologue, reflecting on the Word of God.
The Word of God was with God the Father ‘in the beginning’ – at the creation of the world. The Word is the Light that shines in the darkness. The Word brings life into the world. The Word ‘was made flesh and lived among us.’ The Word of God is Jesus, the Son of God. The Word has become a man, and has come to live in the world that God made. The Son of God knows how we feel, because he experienced everything that we do. He felt hungry, thirsty, tired, sad. He wept when his friend Lazarus died. He felt lost and abandoned on the Cross.
Jesus is the Light that shines out in the darkness of sin and suffering. He brings hope and meaning to those who have lost their way in the dark. Jesus brings life; he heals the sick, and overcomes sin and death.
Jesus is the Light for all people. We are quick to divide people up, according to nationality, race or class. But with Jesus, there are no divisions. We are all God’s children, in the light of Christ.
We have lived through a strange and difficult year. As a new year begins, the world around us may still seem dark and frightening. But Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness. He will show us the way.