Summary: A Christmas Eve Devotion
A woman was a very ill.
She was dying. She knew it but wouldn’t accept it.
She showed her defiance by refusing to turn off her bedroom light at night. She thought that as long as she could see the light, she would stay alive.
Of course she only managed to exhaust herself, and if anything, hasten her death.
Light does might make you feel better. Many-colored Christmas lights on houses and on trees at this time of year help us through dark winter days. But light can’t save you…can it?
On a spiritual level, that woman was right. If only she could have seen the Light with a capital L, she wouldn’t have died in fear. (from Donald Neidigk)
2,700 years ago the prophet Isaiah said: “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” (Isaiah 9:2).
The Light that Isaiah had in mind was Jesus for a few verses later Isaiah said:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Jesus is the great light that has dawned on humanity. Tonight we celebrate the rising of that light.
But what kind of light is Jesus?
Since he comes to us from God; since he is God, he is on one hand like a powerful spotlight a security guard trains on someone who is trying to break into a building.
Really? Does Jesus do that – seek to expose our bad behavior and thoughts? Isn’t this the meek and mild baby of Christmas we’re talking about here? Don’t forget that this same Jesus also twice used a whip to drive unscrupulous merchants from the temple.
What selfishness would Jesus expose and seek to drive out of your life? The way you quickly walked by the woman struggling to push her shopping cart through the snow-packed parking lot because – well you had plenty on your Christmas-to-do list?
What pride would he seek to squash? The smugness you feel when someone tells you about family problems you don’t think you’ll ever have to experience.
What hurtful remarks have you muttered even on your way to church this evening, thoughts Jesus could amplify for all to hear even as God hears?
Has the light of God’s law made you shrink in your seat like a classroom spit-baller trying to avoid the teacher’s eye?
You know that doesn’t work with God though. Your conscience tells you as much.
But Jesus isn’t just a spotlight illuminating our sin.
He’s also like the bright light a dentist uses to see what’s wrong with your teeth. The purpose of such a light is to help fix what has decayed and rotted.
But rotten teeth can’t be fixed, can they? They have to be replaced. And that’s what Jesus came to do: take our place under God’s crushing anger against sin.
Therefore when Isaiah speaks of Jesus as a light, he’s thinking of a light you see after days of cloudy weather – a light that’s welcome and warming.
And did you note how Isaiah said that this light has dawned on those walking in darkness?
Friends, you don’t have to go looking for this light. He came looking for you. His first stop was the cradle. His last stop, the cross. And then he rose - a better sun than the one that shone on Easter Sunday morning.
This eternal light is shining on you right now with love and forgiveness so powerful that it dissolves guilty consciences as easily as a roaring campfire will dissolve a snowball tossed into it.
Turn your face to the Light – it’s a light that will never go out – not even in death.
Hear again the words of Isaiah: “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…6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:2, 6).