The hills outside of Bethlehem were cloaked in darkness as the shepherds tended their flocks. Another kind of darkness enveloped not just those hills, but the entire world. It was a darkness brought about by sin and rebellion, a darkness that had a firm grip on the world, once created in perfect light and perfect peace.

When angels appeared on those hills outside Bethlehem with their message that a child was born of a virgin, and when that message was accompanied by the “Glory of the Lord” himself, darkness fled. Darkness fled not just on those hills. It also was banished from a sin-darkened world. It fled because “the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:9). God himself, the Savior God who had led his people as the pillar of light through the wilderness, had come as a lowly child in fulfillment of his ancient promise. In that manger was nothing less than the Light of the world.

We celebrate this Christmas because of what God did to bring us out of the darkness of sin into his marvelous light. In him we have forgiveness. In him we have peace. In him we have light and life. May the light of the gospel and the bright and joyful message of his birth illuminate your hearts and homes this Christmas season!

In Him,
President Mark Schroeder