There turned into as soon as a small baby Folk Fest named Jacob. Jacob had now not been plenty inquisitive about Christmas-too younger to keep in mind the previous Christmas, and now not comprehending what it would mean this year. Not tons fascinated, that is until his parents began to string lights down the banister and across the house’s access region. “Oh, Mommy, Mommy!” he exclaimed, “Let me help make Christmas!” and amassing all of the rest of the lights in his arms, he ran to his room and began to string them anywhere till his room resembled something like the Griswald’s house inside the film Christmas Vacation.
Small as he was, he grasped a vital reality. Christmas is all about the lights-the light of the angels bursting thru a cold, darkish sky to sing the music of heaven to terrified shepherds who could not consider something like this taking place earlier than, nor realize what became taking place now. The light of a star acting inside the sky to stressful magi who had in no way visible whatever like it before and could not recognize a king who turned into born in a solid. The Light of the World, born in a solid to a scared teen, supported her concerned husband’s aid.
Light gets our interest. On that first Christmas, the real light got here into the arena, the mild that shines within the darkness, but the darkness has not triumphed over it. The Light comes once more these days for us. It comes into our lives. It is right here enlightening our lives. Do we see the Light of Life as the shepherds did, or will we see it as a disturbance, something that unsettles us, something that makes us uneasy, something that brings a wave of guilt, however, would not lead us to repentance? Because of the Babe born on the primary Christmas, our lives are lit up with the grace of God, the affection of God, the forgiveness of God, the strength of God, and the peace of God.
John’s Gospel has purposes:
1. To introduce his readers to Jesus, and
2. To set up who He is and what He did, all with the only aim of main them to embrace the saving work of Christ.
God came to us in Christ. When hostility and enmity exist, we can destroy the silence due to Christ and provide what God has offered an America-a word of Grace. The authentic mild came on the primary Christmas-the light that shines in the darkness, but the darkness has now not overcome it. Light equals existence. The Light of Christ has come into our lives. Do we see it as a disturbance, or will we see it because of the Light of existence, just like the shepherds did? This light brings peace, comfort, reconciliation, and joy into our lives.
There is a tale approximately brothers named Tom and John, whose father had died. He had willed the farm to the two of them to keep his sons collectively. It had not labored that manner. John had married and lived in a small city together with his family. Tom, who remained single, lived alone in the vintage farmhouse. “John is always preoccupied along with his family,” Tom notion. “I do extra than my percentage of the work.” He started to resent his brother. “Tom is always so grouchy,” concept John. “He is jealous of my spouse and kids.”
A wall of resentment was constructed up between them. They might infrequently communicate with each other differently. They attended the same little church in town and sat on contrary facets of the nave in the Christmas Eve carrier course. John was troubled because they had infrequently mentioned each different’s presence as they sat in church. On the manner home, John said to his spouse, “Tom is by myself and has no one to share Christmas. I recognize he might not come right here. Maybe we can take a warm dinner to him.” His spouse organized a scrumptious meal, placed it into a sleigh, and started from the small metropolis to the farmhouse within America’s united states. Meanwhile, Tom, sitting alone, stated to himself: “Life is too quick for this. John is my only brother, and he has it hard along with his wife and circle of relatives. I will load my wagon with wood for the hearth and presents for the children.” So he loaded his wagon and drove in the direction of the metropolis.
Down in the valley between the farm and the metropolis, they met. They have been silent for a second, after which they embraced with shouts of “Merry Christmas!!!!” The reconciliation befell at that second, and the true mind of Christmas changed into vivid with a glow that would be visible for miles around.
Christ the light changed into in the international. The international become made with the aid of Him, but the world did now not know Him. In the Bible, the phrase “flesh” regularly means “the whole person.” Human nature is awesome and becomes independent from God; the human nature in all of its weak point and susceptibility of sin. The rejecter’s loss is the believer’s benefit. The way has been opened for God’s purpose to be fulfilled in us. Christ’s grace is inexhaustible. The purpose of the Light is to make us His kids. He is God over us, and He is our recommendation. He pleads our case because He loves us.
Jesus revealed His love for us thru the best act of self-sacrifice a man ought to carry out-He gave His lifestyles for us. God became one of us. Christ has identified with us, and He wants to permit us to live fulfilled lives. The church owes its lifestyles to the Word of promise and is nourished and preserved with the same Word’s aid. If the soul has the Word, it’s miles rich and is lacking nothing of peace, of righteousness, of salvation, of pleasure, of liberty. Advent’s temper calls us to a mature, clear-sighted, and steadfast faith. The real meaning of Christmas lies in the aggregate of magical ceremonies and the message that God has damaged our human selfishness.
John’s Gospel adds an attitude wherein the reader is led all of the ways lower back to Creation to look even inside the resurrection light. John factors us constantly toward Jesus and His mission. John’s existence is directed towards Jesus and in the provider of His kingdom. We should permit the cross of EVERYTHING that is blocking off God’s direction to us. To have dating with Christ is to have a relationship of openness to God and proportion to His everlasting lifestyles. The International can not recognize the mild and darkness. However, the darkness of our universe has been scattered. The mild one suffered the darkness of death and hell in our place. The Crucifixion did now not extinguish the mild because Jesus is Lord of Death and Lord of Life. We aren’t in darkness anymore. We have “visible the mild.” God’s phrase has created us and bound us collectively.
God’s immensity is constantly flooding us with grace. Our religious blindness cannot power us far from God’s grace. Our sinful nature’s fundamental result is blindness to reality, reality, the character of sin, and the necessity of a Saviour. The Saviour of humankind has been given to us. The Word is immersed in each factor of our lives-from empty troubles at work, to temptation, to amusing-time partying, to betrayal, to pleasure, to grief, to laughter, to pain. We draw grace from God’s entire assets—an inexhaustible warehouse. From his fullness, we’ve all obtained grace upon grace. Grace and reality got here thru Jesus Christ.
The different Gospels depict the dignity of God coming upon Jesus on the transfiguration; but, John sees the consideration of God in all Jesus says and does. In John’s thoughts, the hour for Jesus to be glorified is the crucifixion.
If we say we’ve got a fellowship with God, that means we partake of his divine nature. If we are saying we haven’t any sin, we misinform ourselves. If we’ve got a fellowship with God, we should be like Him and make room in our lives and hearts for others AND Jesus. Christmas may be a time for sheer pleasure. Still, it may additionally be a time of exceptional pain and sorrow, particularly for the ones who’ve misplaced a cherished one, or who are in poor fitness, or who have misplaced their job, or who’ve suffered different styles of losses. The desire within the proper story of Christmas-desire God gave us inside the baby, our redeemer, Jesus Christ. The Light of the World brings a wish to the world. God lives here within us. If God keeps his guarantees, is it because he wants to, or is it due to his nature? He won’t do something other than what He has completed via Christ and is now doing honestly because he can not do whatever else.
I read a news tale the alternative day about a pass this is underway to make Jesus Christ the honorary king of Poland. On that first Christmas over 2,000 years in the past, he got here to earth to create His earthly country and draw us into his heavenly country by way of spreading the Good News of the Word and salvation, especially to the bad, the hungry. The oppressed in the sector, specifically in countries that include China, Kenya, Iran, Nigeria, India, and Iraq. Even in these darkest corners of the arena, the light shines so brightly that it pierces the innermost, darkest corners of the guy’s soul and opens his heart to the pleasure of the Christmas season.
In his Christmas Day message this year, Pope Benedict issued an enchantment for the negative, the exploited, and all folks that suffer. He said (quote):
The humanity of the twenty-first century seems like the sure and self-sufficient grasp of its personal destiny, the avid proponent of uncontested triumphs, yet this is not the case. People hold to die of hunger and thirst, disease and poverty, in this age of masses and unbridled consumerism. Some humans continue to be enslaved, exploited, and stripped of their dignity; others are victims of racial and spiritual hatred, hampered using intolerance and discrimination. Others see their very own our bodies and people of pricey ones, specifically their kids, maimed by using weaponry, with the aid of terrorism and by using all kinds of violence at a time while all and sundry invokes and acclaims development. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ is reborn. For he is aware of that even these days, we want him. Despite humanity’s many advances, the guy has always been identical: freedom poised among exact and evil, between existence and loss of life. (End quote)
Even a small mild can dispel first-rate darkness—even a tiny candle can force darkness out of a massive room. Light and darkness are opposites, but they may not be opposites of the same energy. Light is stronger than darkness; darkness can not be successful in opposition to it…Similarly, darkness can’t conquer people who walk within the light. To witness for Christ regularly provokes the forces of darkness to violence, and Christian witnesses frequently turn out to be martyrs—a reality as genuine nowadays in many parts of the sector as it ever becomes within the Roman global of Christ’s time. Much of the world today continues to be in rebel. It still prefers darkness to light due to the fact its deeds are evil. That is authentic of all and sundry at sure points in our lives.
This identical light pierces the darkest corners of our very own reality of sins and disasters. This identical light motivates us extra than guilt. No quantity of exact works can absolutely erase the guilt and stain of failure and sin from our beyond. We have the very actual Spirit of the Living God whose ministry inside the world is to show us our want for a Saviour. This very identical Saviour took our hassle of sin and nailed it to the Cross. While the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, He then leads us to Christ, giving us the gift of faith that we would receive the grace of God. Christ’s forgiveness causes us to emerge as new humans. Then, by way of grace, we’re able to walk in the new works that replace the antique works.
The Word encompasses each word and deed. It is not us doing through God. It is God dwelling His life thru us. It is Immanuel; God is with us. We are called to proclaim the righteousness of God to have a good time, the gift of existence. We make God regarded on this international through our witness to God’s love. We stand at the strength of God’s love and attain out to embrace the ones God sends to us.
At this joyous Christmas time, we can not even attempt to understand the Word. All we can do is stand in awe and marvel beside the crib, seeing in and via the child “the honor of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and fact.” The mild is visible in the Child and in all who are struck with the aid of the mind that comes from the Child.