It was pitch black. The silence was uncanny. How could silence be described as deafening? Yet it was. Almost as if the silence pressed against my ears, and became a roaring noise. Strange, but true. I was hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth in Mammoth Cave.
The features of the cave appeared 'other-worldly.' From stalactites and stalagmites to rivers and lakes, I was amazed by everything that existed in this underground cavern. Our tour guide had brought us to this portion of the cave to demonstrate the utter darkness that would surround us if all the lights were extinguished. Unable to make out my hand in front of my face, I was convinced! When the lights were turned on, the darkness was dispelled. With light once again flooding our path, we finished our exploration of the cave. Although this experience was lived out over thirty years ago, the memory of the temporary darkness in the cave left a lasting impression on me.
This week we had a special Christmas party for the children at our church who participate in the Awana program. It is a tremendous program that evangelizes and disciples children, encouraging them in their walk with Jesus Christ. I was captivated by the Director's message. As he read the account of the Christmas story from Luke 2, he brought up the fact that Jesus is the Light of the world. I was reminded of my 'cave' experience.
Just like the lights dispelled the darkness in Mammoth Cave, Jesus came to this earth to dispel the darkness. He acknowledged, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12, KJV). Unfortunately, not everyone wants to trade his/her darkness for Jesus' light. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). If they could only comprehend the great exchange that would take place upon laying down their darkness for God's marvelous light. Everlasting life spent with the Light of the world could be theirs. In Jesus' words, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).
Although He came as a babe in a manager, He came to be the Light that would point us to the Father. He came to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). What will you do with this gift of salvation He's extending to you? Will you move from darkness to the Light? He's beckoning you. His plans for you are great. "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11).
If you've already accepted this amazing gift of salvation by grace through faith, will you be faithful to share the Light of the world with those who are still in darkness around you? The baby we celebrate this Christmas season, came "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:77-79). Give the best gift this season! The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - the Light of the world!