A Great Light
- \\ Isaiah 9:2-3 (NIV)*
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
- \\ John 8:12 (NIV)*
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, 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 12:46 (NIV)*
46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
- \\ Matthew 5:14 (NIV)
*14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Walking in Darkness have seen a great light.
There is Hope.
Crawling through a lightless tunnel
Flashlight at the end.
The Light was for us.
The Light brings life—Three verses.
With Him we become the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
The Christmas scene that Anthony arranged under the altar [was] probably the most meaningful "crib" I have ever seen. Three small wood-carved figures made in India: a poor woman, a poor man, and a small child between them. The carving is simple, nearly primitive. No eyes, no ears, no mouths, just the contours of the faces. The figures are smaller than a human hand--nearly too small to attract attention at all.
But then--a beam of light shines on the three figures and projects large shadows on the wall of the sanctuary. That says it all. The light thrown on the smallness of Mary, Joseph, and the Child projects them as large, hopeful shadows against the walls of our life and our world. While looking at the intimate scene we already see the first outlines of the majesty and glory they represent. ... Without the radiant beam of light shining into the darkness there is little to be seen. ... But everything changes with the light.
n Henri J. M. Nouwen
Gifts Without Cost
Some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value:
• Mend a quarrel, dismiss suspicion, tell someone, “I love you.”
• Give something away—anonymously.
• Forgive someone who has treated you wrong.
• Turn away wrath with a soft answer.
• Visit someone in a nursing home.
• Apologize if you were wrong.
• Be especially kind to someone with whom you work.
• Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy.
C. Swindoll, Growing Strong, pp. 400-1
It Cost …
• It cost Mary and Joseph the comforts of home during a long period of exile in Egypt to protect the little babe.
• It cost mothers, in and around Bethlehem, the massacre of their babies by the cruel order of Herod.
• It cost the shepherds the complacency of their shepherd’s life, with the call to the manger and to tell the good news.
• It cost the wise men a long journey and expensive gifts and changed lives.
• It cost the early Apostles and the early church persecution and sometimes death.
• It cost missionaries of Christ untold suffering and privation to spread the Good News.
• It cost Christian martyrs in all ages their lives for Christ’s sake.
• More than all this, it cost God the Father His own Son—He sent Him to the earth to save men.
• It cost Jesus a life of sacrifice and service, a death cruel and unmatched in history.