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2005-12-24_The Light of Christmas

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The first recorded words from the Creator—do you remember what they were? “Let there be light.” Before anything else—redwood trees, killer whales, man and woman—God called for light. Take note sun worshipers. Think about it astrologers. Before the sun. Before the moon. Before the stars. God said “light” and the darkness ran.

Why? What is so special about light that it was the first order of business? Why did the forming of the formless universe begin with light? Why did the filling of the empty cosmos require light as the first ingredient?

When we think about what our true needs are, we think of food, water and air. Did you forget light? All life on earth is totally dependent on light. The tiniest bacterium and the greatest tree. Molecules, structures, cells, and processes of life, need energy before they can form. All life forms need energy, and the source of that energy is light.

Without light, life could not exist. Life and light go hand in hand.

…….scientists don’t know what it is….unseen qualities….

Creation was the beginning—not just of mice and men and Mars. It was the beginning of God’s revelation. God’s greatest work is His self-explanation. God’s greatest blessing is the sharing of Himself. In creation, God has revealed Himself.

Romans 1:20 makes it clear. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…”

So, the first thing He chose to create was a substance that would symbolize His own glory. Light was the perfect metaphor.

OT references

So, it was no coincidence that John used the words of Genesis 1:1 in John 1:1. The Light was coming into the world. He would enlighten every man in an unprecedented way. Genesis 1 was the beginning of God’s self-revealing. John 1 is the beginning of God’s greatest self-revealing. No metaphor this time. The Light Himself was coming into the world. The self-revelation of God was continuing—not just beginning. We would no longer see just the reflection of the light. The Light Himself would step out into full view in the person of Jesus Christ. Of course, He had to veil His glory. No one has seen God at any time and lived. Just as there are unseen qualities to light—qualities that can’t be seen by the human eye—there were unseen qualities to Jesus of Nazareth. The true Light was shaded by human flesh. But unlike any time in history, God revealed Himself through the God-man.

I am the light of the world

Fullness of deity

God continues to reveal Himself. Not in the visible God-man. He is unseen once again. But, the Light of the world—when He returned to heaven—gave His people the privilege of  

Read Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-12. What do these two passages have in common? Jesus, Bethlehem, Mary, great lights.

Three important truths:

  1. Creation is God’s first self-revelation. Light is the greatest metaphor for His glory.
    1. Genesis 1:3,4: “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”
    2. Genesis 1:14: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years…’”

                                                              i.      “Signs” shows that the lights in the “heavens” were designed to communicate God’s glory.

                                                            ii.      Psalm 19:1 makes this perfectly clear: “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

a.       Psalm 104:2

b.      Daniel 7:9,10

c.       Isaiah 9:2—The prophets began to describe one who would come and shine this light for us in a special way.

  1. Jesus is God’s greatest self-revelation. He is the light of the world.
    1. John 1—the Light came into the world. Why was the light coming into the world?

                                                              i.      John 1:18—So God could reveal Himself unlike any other time. Any other way. Hebrews 1:1-3—The exact representation of God.

                                                            ii.      John 3:16-21—So God could save all who would believe.

1.      John 8:12

2.      John 12:46

  1. The task of the “followers of light” is to reflect that light. Share that light. Participate in the revelation of God as we become like Christ. As we share our knowledge of the Light who has come. As we do those things which shine like light in a dark world.
    1. Matthew 5:14
    2. Ephesians 5:8
    3. Philippians 2:15
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