Before anything else, there was God. He spoke. Then there was light.
On this first Sunday of Advent, the creation story in Genesis may seem a strange place to start. Nonetheless, that’s where light first captures our attention. That first light was a glorious, preeminent light. It birthed the beautiful story we love to tell this time each year.
Maybe you’ve questioned how this party really started. You might doubt a baby born two thousand years ago is relevant to our big hot mess. No worries, my friend. I invite you to journey on with me all the same. Let us see what comes to light, shall we?
We learn in Genesis that before God spoke light into life, all creation was void. It was dark and formless as He hovered over the deep. On His word, light materialized and darkness relinquished its death grip. God distinguished light from darkness in morning and evening. I like to imagine the hourglass of time set in motion then, grains of sand trickling like a cosmic clock.
It was three more days before God turned to the vault of the sky and called for more light. He set our sun and moon spinning into orbit. He dusted the galaxy with stars. My imagination takes hold again. Did His fingertips sparkle with stardust? Perhaps a long exhale and another galaxy was formed? Day and night these luminaries pushed back darkness on the earth. God established signs and seasons through them. He did all of this for our benefit, not His own.
God called this light good. I could not agree more!
Each fall we run solar lights between our home and our daughter’s next door. In the dead of winter a narrow pathway is illuminated. Inky black skies conceal snow and ice. As darkness settles, stark spheres of light materialize at the base of each light. I’m always thankful that light trumps darkness, no questions asked. Our alternative is slipping, stumbling, falling, perhaps even losing our way in the dark. Light, I’m sure we will agree, was a brilliant idea.
In Scripture, light surfaces from the first book to the last. God’s Word, His law, acts as a light on our pathway, guiding our decisions (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23). The light of God’s glory is so awesome that to look on it would be deadly (Exodus 33:17-23)! God wears light, wrapped up in it like cloak (Psalm 104:2). In fact, God is light; in Him there is no shadow or variation in turning (1 John 1:5; James 1:17).
But you are … a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
It is by His command our minds are illuminated, granting knowledge of our Creator and his Son, Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:6, Romans 1:20, John 6:44). God’s people are called into His marvelous light to testify of His excellence (1 Peter 2:9). The Apostle John’s vision of the new heaven and earth in Revelation reveals an eternal city illuminated by God’s glory. Just as on the first day of creation, neither sun nor moon are necessary in His awesome presence!
We don’t often think about it but creation points to Christmas. Jesus was with God in the beginning, hovering over the deep and speaking light into darkness (John 1:1-5). Even then, God knew Jesus would descend to live among us. Through Jesus, the Light of the world, the darkness of sin and power of death is defeated.
This first week of Advent falls near the end of a dark and tumultuous year. We are weary and worn from effects of a vile global pandemic. Yet we have great hope — we have not been abandoned in the dark! Let us walk in this marvelous light, my friend. It has the power of life over death for all who believe.
P.S.Check this! Self-proclaimed science geek and pastor Doug Wekenmen spoke a powerful word at Red Rocks Church “There’s Evidence Everywhere” (Nov. 2020).
*Light of the World: John 1:4-5, 1:9, 8:12, 9:5, 12:35-36, 12:46; Matthew 4:16; and Luke 1:78-79