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Advent 2006 -3- Coming Light: The Glory of the Lord Shines upon Us

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Readings: Isaiah 60:1-7; 15-22; 1John 1:1-7
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)

I.   Our light Has come

     A.  Darkness Covers the earth

           1.  In our world were evil gets the headlines.

                 a.  Nuclear weapons in Iran, N.Korea (?)

                 b.  200K killed, 2M refugees in Darfur

                 c.  Sunnis /Shiites killing ea. o. by the 100s

           2.  Evil seems a part of nature itself

                 a.  Diseases: HIV, ca., Alzheimer’s, strokes

                 b.  Tsunamis, earthquakes, violent weather

                 c.  Drought, famine, flooding

           3.  A spiritual darkness covers our earth too.

                 a.  TV subject matter & language gets worse by the day

                 b.  War vs. X’ty in the U.S. & globally

     B.  God’s light enters our Darkness

           1.  God’s light enters our dark world.

                 a.  He guides history toward His end.

                 b.  He enters through His people.

           2.  God’s light enters our personal darkness.

                 a.  God enters our hopelessness/cynicism

                 b.  God’s Spirit enters our hearts to produce faith and obedience in us!

           3.  Jesus was born into our dark world.

                 a.  Into our dark world, while our hearts were still dark, Jesus comes as a baby.

                 b.  Born in a barn, in a small town in an oppressed country.

                 c.  A king tries to murder him before his second birthday.

     C.  Hear, see and Touch the Light (1John 1:1-7)

           1.  Jesus became touchable, visible, audible.

                 a.  John is telling us that God became tangible, visible, audible.

                 b.  You could shake his hand, count the whiskers on his chin, hear his accent.

                 c.  This is the most amazing event in the history of redemption: God was born!

           2.  The message is God is light without darkness–so leave the darkness.

                 a.  God’s light enters our darkness so that we don’t have to live in the dark.

                 b.  Those who live there, live without Him.

           3.  We can’t touch Him, but He touches us!

                 a.  By, through His Holy Spirit

II.  The Lord’s Glory rises on us

     A.  The Lord Rises over Us

           1.  God’s glory is God’s very presence.

                 a.  It is God Himself who comes to us.

                 b.  God Himself rises upon us/over us!

           2.  His glory rises like the sun chasing away the darkness of the night.

                 a.  When God shows up, darkness runs off.

                 b.  When God shows up, we can see things as they really are.

     B.  It is a new Day

           1.  The rising of God’s glory means it’s a new day for us.

                 a.  The night is over, the day has come.

                 b.  It’s time to start over, start afresh, start with the freshness of the morning dew.

           2.  We still measure history on the pivot-point of Jesus’ birth.

                 a.  The day of Jesus birth marks the transition from one era to the next.

                 b.  The impact of Jesus’ birth is still felt today, about 2003 years later.

     C.  He will be our Everlasting light (Is.60:19)

           1.  Light bulbs burn out. So will the sun.

                 a.  Nothing lasts forever.

                 b.  No insight seems completely reliable.

                 c.  No moral code seems quite enough.

           2.  The light that Jesus brings won’t go out.

                 a.  It’s still shining today!

                 b.  It’s still shining through us!

           3.  In fact we won’t even need the sun or moon! (Is.60:19-20)

III. Be Radiant with Joy!

     A.  God Restores what our enemy took (Is.60:5)

           1.  Those separated from us by our enemy

                 a.  Our little 1's carried back from sin/hurt

                 b.  The grip of sin/death is broken in Jesus

           2.  The blessings that have been stolen

                 a.  All that’s been plundered: returned

                 b.  In entering our poverty, Jesus defeats it!

           3.  Our rightful place in God’s promised land

                 a.  We live in occupied territory (sin/satan)

                 b.  Jesus, born in invaded land redeems us

     B.  We Fellowship with Father and Son (1Jn1:3b)

           1.  Fellowship: close, even casual relationship

                 a.  He is almost too normal for us!

                 b.  He was so human in His humanity, His divinity was only be seen by inspiration!

                 c.  B/c He was like us … He sympathizes …

           2.  Thru Jesus, by His Spirit.

                 a.  We too have fellowship: love Him
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (1 Pe 1:8)

                 b.  Fruit: faith (expressed in life choices)

                 c.  Fruit: inexpressible/glorious joy

           3.  Our joy complete when fellowship spreads

                 a.  Joy (not guilt!): motivator for outreach

                 b.  Joy in heaven when 1 sinner repents

                 c.  Joy here too! Right?!

     C.  The days of sorrow End in Jesus (Is 60:20d)

           1.  Because He will be with us forever

                 a.  With us to wipe away our tears

           2.  Because there is no darkness in Him

                 a.  Unlike us, and those with great power

           3.  Rejoice greatly…your King comes to you!

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9 (NIV)

The Bottom Line:

In this Dark world, we will let God’s light shine In us and Through Us.

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