Along with Easter, Christmas is one of the most important Christian holidays. We celebrate and remember Jesus as the light of the world. Since we do not know the historical date of Jesus’s birth, it is meaningful to decide 12/25, near the winter solstice, as Christmas since the date is the beginning of the light’s winning over the most extended darkness (in the northern hemisphere).
But has the world really been full of light since Jesus? Not an easy question to answer. I think the world is going on the right way because people pay more attention to the human rights and the quality of life of once marginalized and oppressed people. It is not fair to say that darkness still controls the world. However, I think the darkness fills the world a lot. As far as I understand, we still have many serious problems such as the robbery of legal justice, social stratification due to the extremized neo-liberalism, and many other issues stemming from social stratification. And an emerging concern is the formation of a new social stratum that is alienated from the current technology and science, especially the older generation and poor population. Jesus came as the light of the world, but after over 2000 years, his light has not completely filled the world. What does his first coming mean?
Jesus was born about 2000 years ago. According to the gospel books, he had only lived for three years since he started his mission. So the time he was able to affect our lives was incredibly short. We read in the Bible that he had done many good things to the world and initiated the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the geographical and temporal limitations did not allow him to entirely change the world. If his light had filled the world, that should have been God the father’s responsibility.
Thus, it is possible to think that, regardless of Jesus’s first coming, God could have filled the world with God’s light. But clearly, darkness still prevails. Then, we must face the problematic idea that God does not govern the world’s history but leaves it alone. Many people confess that God rules the world, but our history is full of evil events. The fact that the darkness still prevails in the world, regardless of Jesus’s coming, mazes us.
Perhaps, the famous confession that God controls the world’s history distorts God’s will toward the world. What is clear is that God does not overwhelmingly control the world. God does not make the light fill the world. If that should happen, we are not free-will being. Instead, we should be animals equipped with instincts to follow and obey God’s control. Then ‘human’ means a completely different thing.
Perhaps, Jesus’s first coming is just a flare that tells us to begin the war against the darkness. It might be a message for us to stand on Jesus’s side, learn Jesus’s light, mimic the light, and fill the world with our own light. If the world lacks light, that is because Christians do not play their roles properly. Sometimes, I think they spread the darkness believing that they are the light. Those people might think that what I do here on this blog is evil as I read the Bible from critical perspectives. So, during the Christmas season, I feel a little more depressed.