Pastor Bob Norton
The lights of Christmas help tell the story. We worship and serve the One who said, “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) Our candles that flicker in our homes and churches, our electric lights that adorn our Christmas trees and wreaths and outside our homes, all point us to the Christ of Christmas. O come, let us adore Him.
In the Bible, the glory of God is revealed through light. In creation, God said, “Let there be light”…and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) Moses encountered Yahweh at the burning bush and was commissioned to be the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. Yahweh guided the Hebrews in the wilderness at night through a pillar of fire. Throughout the Old Testament we’re reminded that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. The prophet Isaiah tells us, “Arise, shine, for your light has come” as he points us ahead to the coming of the Messiah. (Isaiah 60:1) Truly, Jesus is the light of the world. Embrace the light.
The theme of darkness and light pervades the Scriptures. Darkness represents human evil. Light represents God’s redeeming grace. In these winter months, we experience a season of darkness. The morning light comes later and the evening darkness comes earlier. We recognize December 22nd as the shortest day of the year. In Alaska one experiences at this time only four hours of daylight each 24 hours. It’s a season of darkness with ensuing depression and anxiety. Our world knows darkness in the terrorism and violence of our times. We yearn for the light. We hope for God’s light to triumph over the darkness. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis referred to Narnia under the wicked witch’s curse as “always winter and never Christmas”. What a dismal thought. But Christmas has come! The Light of the world has invaded our darkness! Rejoice! Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
However, without God our world can become a very dark place. Evil kills 58 concert goers in Las Vegas. Evil murders 26 worshippers in a small Baptist church in Texas. There’s a myriad of stories all across the earth of evil manifesting itself in dark deeds. In Jesus’ time, an evil King Herod murdered the innocents in Bethlehem. And some would say, guard your heart, for we have a little Herod in each of us.
Eleanor Roosevelt is credited as saying, “It is far, far better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” We are ever so aware of the darkness in our world these days. By celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas, we can light one candle after another. People can drift away from Christ and His Church and Christmas is often a season when they find it in their hearts to return. Welcome home. Together, let us sing “I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus. In him there is no darkness at all. Shine is my heart Lord Jesus.” (from a hymn by Kathleen Thomerson)
Our December newsletter is filled with opportunities to light candles to the glory of God. Come, join in our festivals of light and let us walk as the children of light. To God be the glory!