Christmas 2016

I wrote the following as a submission for a published devotional.  My submission wasn’t chosen, but maybe it will bless someone — Christmas, 2016.

It touches every one of us.  It blares across the headlines in the news and plays out across our country and world.  It also comes to every one of us personally.  It may come as sickness.  Or betrayal.  It may come as sadness.  Loneliness.  Pain.  Death.  This. The darkness of sin’s consequences.

And it doesn’t just touch our lives through the pain and destruction wrought by others upon us.  If we are honest we must admit that this sin lives in me and you.  That we create darkness through the consequences of our sins.

“The way of the wicked is like deep darkness.”  (Prov. 4:19.)  “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  (Romans 1:21).  “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.”  (Romans 7:14).  “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”  (John 8:34).

Yet, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”  (Isaiah 9:2).  This is what we celebrate today.  A great light.

“In the beginning … God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Gen.1:1).  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”  (John 1:1, 4-5).  “Jesus spoke again … he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  (John 8:12.)

We celebrate today that the light of life came as a tiny baby.  To our weary, dark land.  We celebrate because the light of life has invited us to follow Him – because He has offered to quench the darkness within our souls with His light.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6).  And so, “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  (1 Peter 2: 9).  “You are the light of the world…Let your light shine so that all men may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  (Matt. 5:14, 16).

And so, friends, let it be light!  In my life.  In yours.  Here on earth.  Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

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