Sunday, December 20, 2009

12/21/09 John 1:8,9 The true Light

(sunrise on Lake Murray, SC)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

John 1:8,9
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. John 1:8,9

Calvin Abridged: 8- “He was not the light” The Evangelist did not want the Baptist’s excessive brightness obscuring the glory of Christ. Some gazed upon the Baptist but neglected Christ; just as some enraptured with the dawning of the day, would not desire to turn their eyes to the sun. All the godly are light in the Lord (Eph. 5:8) since they are enlightened by the Spirit, they see for themselves, and also direct others by their example to salvation. The apostles are also called light (Mt. 5:14) but who is the only eternal source of illumination. 9- “The true light”- The Evangelist is not contrasting the true light from the false, but distinguishing Christ from all others (including angels and humans). Just as the moon and the earth reflect a different source of light, so Christ is the eternal source- the true light that gives light. From the light of Christ the rays are diffused over all mankind. Humans are different from animals in that they can distinguish between right and wrong in their conscience. This is speaking not of salvation, but the common light of nature; no person, despite their wisdom’s best efforts, will penetrate into the kingdom of God. The light of reason that God gave us is obscured in thick darkness, ignorance, and errors so that there are only a few sparks left.

Thoughts: Whatever light we have as humans comes from God. He gives us light, truth, and our minds. It is a faith statement to say that all we have is a gift from God, and we are not here by accident or act of chaos. Today is the shortest day of the year (and the longest night). Let us remember the light of the world today. [For those in Chapin/Irmo- come to the Longest Night service 6:00 to pray for light, hope, truth to come to our land and to our people).

Prayer: Lord, you are the light, and we are drawn to your light. Let your light shine through us to others this time of year.

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