September 16 (John 1:5)
The light shines in the darkness, and the
darkness has not overcome it. (ESV)
On a sunny day as light streams through the windows, it is impossible to see the light. It illuminates everything. You are surrounded by it, and because it is impossible to be apart from it, it is not possible to see it truly. Now consider the brilliance of a star in space. It blazes fiercely, defiantly against the darkness, and while the darkness may surround it, it cannot overcome the light, but rather retreats and dissipates as the rays press ever outward.
The oldest Christian hymn outside the Bible is Phos Hilaron. It dates to just over 200 years after Jesus and opens by calling Him “O joyous light.” Now think again about the stars in the far-flung galaxies of space. Call up an image of the unending blackness and the lights that pierce it. Jesus is the light that created those stars. He traveled the infinite distance from heaven to become flesh and shine upon earth as no star could ever do. And that supreme, powerful, creative light is a joyous one.
The word hilaron in the title of that ancient hymn gives us our word “hilarious.” Yes, Jesus is the hilarious, wonderful, joy-filled light of everything! Radiance, explosive radiance that literally takes over darkness…that is Jesus. That is your Savior and God, my friends.
Oh, Jesus, I can
hardly express my joy when I think of You, when I truly ponder all that You
are. In the words of another great hymn,
Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart.
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”
Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins