I was invited into the local primary school this week to talk to Year 3 classes. They've been thinking about Christmas and Christian symbols associated with Christmas...in particular, light.
What an invitation.
To be invited in to talk on Jesus being the light of the world.
As I prepared I re-read some of the Bible verses that speak of this and realised what a beautiful and simple gospel message these verses describe.
"God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5)
But humans decided they preferred the darkness. "...but men loved darkness instead of light..." (John 3:19), and as Isaiah puts it, "The people walking in darkness..." (Isaiah 9:2).
God is light. But people prefer darkness. And if people prefer darkness they're never going to come back to the light of their own accord. So, the light has to come to the darkness.
And that's the message of Christmas...
"The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." (John 1:9)
"Light has come into the world..." (John 3:19).
And as Jesus himself says, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12)
Christmas is about light. The Light of the world coming into the darkness.
As one Christian song puts it, "Light of the world you stepped down into darkness".
And if you're part of the Neighbourhood family, do you know what Jesus says to you?
"You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14)
Or as Paul writes in one place, we are to "shine like stars in the universe" (Philippians 2:15).
As we celebrate the Light of the World this Christmas, let's remember that as He shines in us, we are to shine to those around us.