What does Christmas have to do with light? Christmas lights? Winter solstice? How about the unveiling of the light – the light of the world?
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. -Jesus, Gospel of John 8:12
Jesus once spoke of a wide gate, opening onto an easy road. What is an easy road like? No potholes. No hills. Nothing to get in your way or to hinder your progress. The outlook is sunny and you feel good. You travel at your pleasure. Jesus contrasted this with a narrow gate, opening onto a hard road. On this road, you struggle to make progress. Obstacles loom large. Hills must be climbed, slowly, tediously. Travel is exhausting. In calling our attention to these two alternative paths, Jesus is warning us against the hard road, isn’t he? Naturally, God would want us to walk the easy road, wouldn’t he? What may shock us is that Jesus says the easy road leads to destruction while the hard road leads to life. Contrary to what we might have expected, Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate!” He actually tells us to take the hard road! Perhaps because he knows our tendency to find comfort in majority opinions, Jesus also warns us that many take the easy road while few find the hard road. Time for a location check. Is your spiritual GPS turned on? Which road are you traveling on today? Are you one of the many, or one of the few? How do you know?
Well, how do you know whether you are on the right road? You look down the road and see if Jesus is walking the same road ahead of you. Quite simply, you check whether you are following Jesus. How do you know whether you are following Jesus? You learn what he did, what he taught, why he came, what he cared about. You can’t follow Jesus without knowing Jesus, and there’s only one way to do that – read the Bible. If you have never read the Bible, I would suggest reading any of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and then following that up by reading the book of Acts, but don’t stop there.
There are only two roads. Following Jesus is Life. Going it your own way is Destruction.