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.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14

A candle doesn’t give off very much light. Can you believe people years ago read by the light of just one candle? Go ahead. Try it. Turn off all the electric lights and read just by the light of a candle. Now blow out the candle. That candle gave off a lot of light, didn’t it? And as long as it was lit, the darkness could not cover it up or become too thick for the candle to do its work. Even in the far corners of the room, you could see the candle’s light.

Jesus is called the “true light that gives light to every man.” No matter how dark this sinful world becomes, the light of Jesus’ love shines into every corner of it. There is no sin that his death has not paid for. There is no sin that God has not forgiven.

But the candle’s job is not done. Jesus has another name: the Word. If people do not know their sins are forgiven, or if they do not want God’s forgiveness, then the Word is still needed to soften their hearts and create faith there.

God’s Word is like a candle we carry into the dark, sinful world. People will be saved if they hear and believe in the Savior, Jesus, whom God’s Word proclaims. What a special opportunity and privilege to be the one to bring this saving news to those who need to hear it!

Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus, the Light, the Word to live for a while among us. Help us to share his story with everyone. Amen.

Deb Bakken

Minnesota Valley Circuit