Read John 1:4-5
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (NRSV)
It is rather easy to give up in despair at our world. We wonder when and if our leaders are going to come to grips with the big issues in a principled way. We wonder whether the witness of the church is fatally compromised by its hypocrisy and selective moral outrage. We wonder why little children get cancer and young newlyweds die in car accidents.
The Bible gives us no easy answers but it does offer perspective. Our text today reminds us that Jesus came into a dark world offering light. The darkness fought against him and even thought it had won on Good Friday. But Easter Day showed who really had won. The darkness had not conquered the light.
We live in a world where darkness seems triumphant. But we live in a world where light has come and has won the war against darkness even if battles remain to be fought. This quote from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, puts it well:
There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end, the Shadow was only a small and passing thing; there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him.