The People who walk in darkness...
Deep in the caves of the Dinaric karst of Southern Europe lives a wonderous creature. Rarely seen by the human eye, it's known as the Slovenian or the "white" saladmander. It dwells in the underground waters that flow from Italy through Slovenia and Croatia, surviving on whatever small creatures come its way. It lives in complete darkness but has paid a dear price for the ability to thrive there....it's sight. It takes generations for an adaption like this to develop, each generation growing more and more accustomed to the darkness. Each generation losing more of it's ability to see, until eventually, there is no need for eyes at all.
Adam and Eve lived in a world where they saw things in a way that seems foreign to us now. They walked and talked with the Lord Himself (can you even imagine, they "saw" God in a tangible reach-out-and-touch-Him way), they saw "life" growing on trees, those intangible spiritual concepts were able to be recognized by their senses.....their world looked much different than the one we live in now. But their choice to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil changed all of that, and not just for the reasons we think.
They disobeyed God, but their choice goes much deeper than that. It was a choice between worlds, to dwell in knowledge rather than life, to rely on what we know in the natural , and to live in spiritual darkness. No longer could they see life growing on trees, or see and talk with the Creator of the Universe. They were banished not just from the Garden, but from a way of seeing and interacting with the world.
Darkness spread. From generation to generation our spiritual sight dwindled until there was no need for eyes at all. We grew accustomed to the darkness until we could no longer remember the light.
But God had a plan, mercy for a dark and hurting world in the form of a tiny baby boy, born through blood and dirt in a tiny cave by a scared teenage mother. God in human form, crying in a manager; the child who would eventually lead the battlecry back into the light.
In life he healed the physically blind, and challenged the modern day perceptions of the world, challenging all to think differently. In dying He took our punishment and then conquered death itself, making it possible for us to do so too.
Born-again is not just a Christianese term for those who believe in Jesus. It's a choice, to stop living by knowledge and choose life. It's a re-birth into a whole new world. It's a shift in how we view and interact with everything around us, a step back into the light to regain our sight.
That's the point to the Christmas story. It's the beginning of an epic saga that changed the world, and it's still happening all around us. We just have to look and see.
The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9: 2