"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
One of my earliest memories is of a Christmas Eve service where a man in a white robe was reading these words as I found myself adrift in a sea of candlelight.
I take now as my privilege as a pastor to recite these words from the prologue to John every Christmas Eve. I am now the man dressed in white speaking these words of hope, endurance, tenacity.
My final exam in a Greek class in seminary was to translate this chapter from the orginal Greek. I remember being anxious, because, of course, I didn't know what passage I'd be handed. As the words started to emerge from the page I quivered with joy.
"I know these words! These words are burned within me!"
The interesting thing about the Greek is that the verb katalambano can mean "overcome" or it can also mean "comprehend" or "perceive." The light is outside of the darkness' ability to assimilate or understand.
Which reminds me of Paul writing in Romans 12 -
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Or, in other words, "Be kind to your enemies, it'll drive 'em nuts."
40 for 40, #16