In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Nativity scenes are all the rage during the advent season, we see them everywhere. Whether it’s Nativity displays in people’s decorations, in Christmas movies or nativity plays at primary schools, we cannot help but think of the Nativity scene. The classic scene of the animals, the wise men and shepherds gathering round the little child in the animal trough is the image that people often associate with Christmas in their minds. And rightfully so! Christmas is all about the birth of Christ, the one who was born into world as a little babe in order that he would save us from our sin. But how often do we look over the true magnitude of the nativity scene and rather just focus on the nice sentimentality of it? It is more than just a cute scene of a baby and animals, but marks the dramatic entrance of God himself into the world that he made.
Jesus Christ is described in John Chapter 1 as “The Word”, Jesus is the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Jesus is not some mere man but God himself, the eternal Word of God. He was with the Father in the beginning and He is one with Him. That little baby who cried out in the manger that night was God Himself. How amazing it is that the Lord Himself, the Eternal Word, would come down to us in the humblest of estates for our sake?
Jesus comes into the world he made as a light to the world, bringing the light of life to all mankind. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” Jesus’ coming into the world was that of a light driving out the darkness of our fallen world, death, Satan and our fallen nature. This conflict of light and dark that goes back to Genesis reaches its climax in the person of Jesus, who crushes the head of the serpent. With a confident foreshadowing of the story’s end, John assures us who will ultimately come out on top.
How fitting is it then that it is during this dark and cold of time of the year we are reminded of the great light has entered the world? “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Right here John sums up the season of Advent. Even amidst the great deal of darkness in this world, the light of Jesus Christ shines bright. He who experienced all of our darkness, even death itself, and was not overcome now dwells in us as God’s Spirit.
So, this Advent season as we think of that Nativity scene in Bethlehem so long ago let us remember and give thanks to that little babe who came into world to drive out darkness, the Word of God himself.