Prepare to Listen. As you light the 1st and 2nd purple candles, let these words still your heart and mind: Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.
Prayerfully Read John 1:3b-9
What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
God’s first act of creation was that of light (Gen 1:3f). One of the first things we learn about the Word has to do with light. His life is light for all people. Light is a key symbol in John to describe and explain Jesus. Through this symbolism we’re invited to enter “a world shaped by the presence of God and the Word.” Just as in creation God didn’t eradicate darkness but constrained and controlled it with the creation of light, so too Jesus’ doesn’t immediately eradicate darkness. He over-powers and controls it. Darkness is incompetent and can’t overcome Jesus, the light.
Unlike the created light in Genesis 1, Jesus as light is focused and personal. He is “the light of all people.” Light reveals what the darkness hides, keeping us crippled, slaves to addictions and past hurts. Jesus, the bearer of God’s light sets us free to experience new life in all its fulness. The good news is that this life is for all people.
As followers of Jesus, we’re tasked with the responsibility and privilege of being, like Jesus and thus being light and life to all, not merely to those with whom we agree, who live according to our standards, those like us. But to all people, without discrimination.
Reflect on whether the way you follow Jesus today brings light that gives life and joy to all people, regardless of creed, race, gender-orientation, education, political party.
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus, may I be a channel of your light for the world today so that the people I meet experience life and joy through me and not disappointment or oppression. Amen.
Live obediently. Be the light of Jesus for all people.
 G. O’Day and S Hylen. John. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Ko Press. 2006, p. 25.