Tonight at worship team rehearsal we went over a song we are doing this weekend, “Here I Am to Worship” by Chris Tomlin. It’s an “oldie” that we haven’t done for quite awhile. During our team time we discussed the some of the lyrics and how they are so appropriate for Advent (“Coming”). They talk about the incarnation, the humble act of God:
King of all days, O most highly exalted, glorious in heaven above,
Humbly you came to the earth you created, all for Love’s sake became poor.
But the line that always gets me is the first one:
Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness.
As we read in Scripture, the concept of true Light has nothing to do with darkness. Light is holiness, purity and perfection. Darkness is sin, evil and defilement. But Christ, the Light of the world, chose to step down into darkness. That required intention, as it is not Light’s first tendency to go toward darkness, but away from it. The Bible calls this intention, “love.”
I take it personally. Jesus did not just step into the world’s darkness. He steps into my darkness: Into my filth, my brokenness, and my evil. Into my secret pride, my seediest lusts, and my deepest fear. New York City’s sewers have nothing over the depths of my fallen humanity.
Light steps in my darkness because of love. Love says that there is something valuable in that murk and mire. Apparently, there’s something worth saving and redeeming underneath the garbage; something worth loving and transforming.
It’s incredibly humbling to realize that that “something” is me.
The miracle is that Jesus’ Light doesn’t just rescue us from darkness, He also transforms the darkness within into light. He is the Light of the World. But He also calls us “the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14)
So that’s how it works! No wonder Paul says that we “were once darkness, but now we are Light in the Lord” (Eph 5:8). When we allow the Light to step into our darkness, we become light. Together we are a string of lights that shine (think about that when you put up Christmas lights: that’s us!) Eventually, we become a City of Light and the darkness – that once enveloped us, dominated us, defined us and enslaved us – will become a distant memory.
Light of the world, here I am to worship!