In the Word was life, and the life was the light of mankind; and the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it. … I am the light of the world; those who follow me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life. John 1:4–5; 8:12
Of the seven metaphors Jesus used to help us understand himself and his mission, none is more striking than his declaration that he is the “light of the world.” With Jesus as our light—as the one who, by what he says and what he does, reveals the best way to live—we can see the world around us clearly and distinctly so we can have panoramic vision as we go through life. Hard, rebellious hearts had kept us ignorant of God’s ways, darkened in our understanding and therefore stumbling about blindly and futilely. But because of his eye-opening, reality-revealing work, we can have confidence and hope as we follow in his steps. Now, as we proceed through Advent, let’s celebrate the Word’s becoming flesh and dwelling among us, full of grace and truth:
I am this dark world’s light; I open eyes
Long blinded on the path toward life’s great goal.
I am the bread of life which satisfies
The deep desire of ev’ry hungry soul.
I am the door to God’s rich pasture land;
My followers go safely to their rest.
I am the way to God’s most gracious hand;
And there with me, they’ll be forever blessed.
I am the shepherd, good to all I own,
They live because I freely die for them.
I am the vine; no fruit appears alone,
But where the branch attaches to the stem.
Before the start of any human strife,
I am the resurrection and the life!