Summary: Christmas is the season of “The Hope of Light.” The hope that everyone in the world will be able to experience the same happiness, joy, and salvation which God has blessed you with.
The Hope of Light
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are now in the Christmas Season. People often miss the point when it comes to Christmas. For some, this season is simply an opportunity to throw parties and exchange gifts. Some see it simply as an opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry. For merchants and salesmen, it is a time to increase their retail sales. For consumers, it is a period of dread, as we must hurry into crowded stores and strain our wallets. However, all of this misses the point of Christmas. Christmas is the promise of love and life eternal.
A little boy named George asked his mother on Christmas: “Mom, why do people put lights on their houses?”
“They are celebrating Jesus’ birthday,” she replied.
“When is Jesus’ birthday?” asked George.
“He was born on Christmas,” his mother replied.
“Jesus was born on Christmas?” George exclaimed. “Wow, what a coincidence!”
Jesus is the reason for the season. He brought light and love into the world. Because of His coming, we have fellowship with the Father. To help us understand the real point of the Christmas season, I want to take us back, about 750 years before Christ was born, to a prophet named Isaiah. Isaiah was both a prophet of judgment and a prophet of hope.
For the coming four weeks, we are going to cover some of Isaiah’s most memorable writings, concerning the coming of the Messiah and the importance His coming is for the world. We must remind ourselves that the Manger of Bethlehem was only the beginning of messianic history. The kingdom of God came into the world with the birth of Jesus, but the fulfillment of His kingdom comes when the light of Christ reigns over all the earth. So, Christmas is a two-fold celebration; a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and a celebration for when the peace, joy, love, and light of Christ will dwell in every heart around the world. Today our lesson is about the light of Christmas.
Isaiah writes, “Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.” - Isaiah 2:3 & 5
Isaiah spoke of a world of peace and light. Nearly 800 years after the time of Isaiah, the Apostle Paul wrote, “The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12
If there is one theme that is common for this season, it is light. Some of you have already gotten out the lights for your Christmas tree. Some of you will perhaps light up the entire inside and outside of your house. Some of you are planning to buy a new Christmas tree or new lights this year. It is wonderful to be joyful in the spirit, as long as we remember what Isaiah said. “Let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Let the light that shines the brightest in all our homes be our Lord.
Shining into His Light
Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”
The Christmas story begins in darkness. There was the darkness of oppression, for God's people were a conquered people. They were beaten and defeated by sin and darkness.
An author named Bruce Larson was driving on a highway in Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. As he was driving, he took the wrapper off some candy. Finding the ashtrays in the car to be full, he absentmindedly opened the car window and threw the wrapper out of the car. Suddenly, he realized what he had done. He also realized that he would never have done this in the daylight. However, somehow, the very darkness encouraged him to litter. There is something about the light that reminds us of our responsibility to other people and helps us to do the responsible thing.
“People who do not live in fellowship with others, live in perpetual darkness and continually do things of which they are ashamed. But people who live in a fellowship, live in the light and are encouraged to be and to do those things of which they can be proud.” - Bruce Larson. We, as Christians, are called to walk in the light of Christ. Through the season of Christmas, we are reminded of the light that came down for our sins. The light that came done to free us from oppression and darkness and to give us the victory.