Summary: A brief Christmas Eve Candlelight Devotional. At the end I also have our program for our special Candlelight service.
The Light of the World
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service Devotional
December 24, 2012
The October 2001 edition of National Geographic had an article on the “Power of Light” with this quotation:
Light reveals the world to us. Body and soul crave it. Light sets our biological clocks. It triggers in our brains the sensations of color. Light feeds us, supplying the energy of plants to grow. It inspires us with special effects like rainbows and sunsets. … Scientists don't fully understand what light is or what it can do. They just know that it will illuminate our future.
After just reading that, all the verses on light in the Bible just raced through my mind. There are 76 references to light in the New Testament, and it is used in the following ways: The idea is used in the New Testament in the following ways:
I. FIRST, IT SAYS THAT GOD IS LIGHT. – In 1 John 1:5, John tells us, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”
There’s a whole lot of theology here that we don’t have time to unpack today. But for our purposes today, I think this quote in Albert Barnes’ commentary expresses the core of what it means that “God is light”: “Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge,…and happiness, as darkness is of the opposite.” So God is the essence and source of all these things: of perfect purity without sin, complete truth without any error, absolute knowledge without any ignorance on any subject and infinite happiness, so that nothing can make Him miserable.
II. SECOND, THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES THAT MANKIND BY NATURE ABHORS THE LIGHT. – John 3:19 – “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” – By nature, without God’s intervention in our lives, we sin against God; we would remain in spiritual ignorance and believe the lies of the Satan; we would be without the knowledge of God; the inevitable result of which is unhappiness and pain.
III. THIRD, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
Illus. – A little boy forgot his lines in a Christmas presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him, so he gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but to no avail, for his mind was blank. Finally, she leaned in and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.” The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, “My mother is the light of the world.”
No, his mother had it right: JESUS is the light of the world. This is how John introduces the Jesus as “the Word” that became flesh in John 1:4-5 – “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” When Jesus was born into this world, He was the one who manifested God on this earth. He shined for all the purity, truth, knowledge and happiness of God.
IV. FOURTH, WHEN WE’RE SAVED, WE COME INTO THE LIGHT.
Paul says in Ephesians 5:8 – “For ye were sometimes [in the past] darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:.” We possess the light of God so that we share in the purity, truth, knowledge and happiness of God through our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
FINALLY, THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES THAT BELIEVERS ARE TO SHARE THE LIGHT WITH OTHERS SO THAT THEY TOO CAN BE LIGHT.
Paul says that we are ministers whose responsibility it is “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance…” (Acts 26:18)
All these lights represent God’s light spread from one single candle—the source. As each candle lit another candle, light grew brighter and darkness was pushed back.
This story of Jesus, born in a manger so long ago who came to die for our sins…may God help us tell the story to our friends, loved ones, co-workers, and through missions, to the whole world, and thereby spread the light of God throughout the whole earth!
Illus. – The story of how the caverns north of Yellowstone National Park were discovered is that one of the original explorers was walking along the top of a mountain and fell through a hole, dropping several hundred feet into a cavern and was stuck in almost total darkness for over a week, no food, no water. He cried out every day, “Help me!” hoping that somebody would hear his voice and save him from a slow, agonizing death.