Every morning I am up much earlier than the rest of the family. I go into the kitchen to make my morning coffee, and I do it mostly in the dark. I might turn on the small light over the stove, and I might use the light from the refrigerator when I'm pouring creamer into my coffee, but other than that, I keep most of the lights off.
It's not because I like the darkness. In fact, I'm really not a fan of darkness. Darkness symbolizes a variety of things in scripture - from fear to ignorance, to evil. It's easy to see why. Darkness symbolizes fear because you never know what might lurk in the shadows. Darkness symbolizes evil, because those who do evil deeds prefer to be hidden in the darkness. And darkness symbolizes ignorance because...well, if you've ever stubbed your toe on a piece of furniture in the darkness, you understand that.
So why do I stumble around in the darkness? Because I have an understanding with my children. At 5:30 I will turn the lights on in the kitchen. If they're awake, they've been lying in the bedroom watching for that sliver of light to shine under the door; when they see it, they know it's morning, and it's okay to get up.
If they wake up before the light comes, they have to wait patiently in their beds until the arrival of the light.
I was thinking of this Christmas morning, in conjunction with the verses from Isaiah 60 which say:
These are verses about Israel in the Old Testament, but they are also appropriate for the believer. After all, Jesus declared himself the Light of the world, and John made this declaration:
In the coming of Christ, the antidote to the darkness became incarnate. Against fear, the incarnate Christ is hope. Against ignorance, He is knowledge and wisdom. Against wickedness He is the righteousness of God.
One of the great glories of His coming is that He did not just shine, but His light shone upon us. We, in the image of Christ, are to be hope, wisdom, and righteousness in the midst of darkness.
The coming of the Savior is like the sliver of light under the door that says "It's time to get up!"
So, as Isaiah said, "Get out of bed, and SHINE, because the LIGHT has arrived!"