For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
For unto you is born this day … We have heard over and over what the angel announced when heralding the coming of the Savior. But I read something that Kierkegaard wrote recently that made me think.
“Unto you is born this day a Saviour – and yet it was night when he was born. That is an eternal illustration: it must be night – becomes day in the middle of the night when the Saviour is born.” — Søren Kierkegaard, The Journals, NB 14:105-106, 1849
You know, Nicodemus came to Jesus in the darkness: Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night … (John 3:1-2). And, in the darkness, Jesus talked to him about two things: being born and coming into the light (John 3:1-21). About being born Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” About coming into the light Jesus said:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
I think that what Kierkegaard meant, at least partly, when he wrote, “it must be night – becomes day in the middle of the night when the Saviour is born,” is that we must admit that it is night for us. We must acknowledge our darkness. All the dark things we love and cling to. All our rebellions and excuses and passing the blame. It must be black midnight in the revelation of the dark places of our hearts and in our admitting our need for the Light. In that darkness, the angels are calling still, “For unto you is born this day.” It is always day where the Savior is born.
They are calling to all of us, cozy in the dark womb of the world, not wanting to be born, afraid to give up our darkness, hiding from the light. Listen to the angels! A great Light has come. A light has dawned in answer to our darkness. Come out into the light so you can see what God is doing. Be born with the Savior. Be born again.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light … Ephesians 5:8
Image, The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds by Thomas Cole. In the Public Domain