This winter season has already started out with so many people being sick, and the threat of the disease is very real. We need to remember during these trying and frightening times that Jesus brought forth light into the darkness. Almost 100 years ago we faced similar conditions, but then, as now, we can celebrate Jesus as the light of the world.
This was plainly seen by thousands of people during the American influenza epidemic of 1918. During the height of that plague, churches and all public gathering places were ordered closed. Yet more than ever, it was then that people needed hope and consolation. Burdened by his inability to reach out to people in their time of need, one resourceful pastor thought of the magnificent stained glass windows that graced his church. Those windows faced a major thoroughfare and were large and commanding in design. He had numerous floodlights placed inside the church; illumination through the glass to the outside world gave passers-by the full effect of the windows story. There for all to see were the matchless portrayals of Jesus: Jesus the good shepherd bearing a lamb on his bosom; Jesus the searching Savior rescuing the lone lost sheep while the ninety-nine rested safely on the fold; Jesus praying in Gethsemane; Jesus on the cross; Jesus triumphant in Resurrection glory. The silent sermons of light and stained glass spoke an eloquent message.
The Gospel of John puts it this way: The true light that gives light of every man was coming into the world. People who passed by the church would stop reverently, silently. They found themselves filled with new resolve and encouragement. They saw ever more clearly in that age of sickness the light of Christ glory which was coming into the world.
May celebrate Christ every day of the year. Amen?