Summary: Why am I doing a Christmas sermon after Christmas? Many people enjoy keeping their Christmas lights on after Christmas. So it seems appropriate that the after Christmas sermon would be about light. Not Christmas lights but the real Christmas light.
You may be wondering, "why is he doing a Christmas sermon after Christmas"? Well, if Lights on the Lake can still be going after Christmas then why not have a Christmas sermon after Christmas? Many people enjoy keeping their Christmas lights on until New Year's Day. As you can see, we follow that tradition here at Cornerstone since our lights are still a glow after Christmas. So it seems appropriate that the after Christmas sermon would be about light. However, as pretty as Christmas lights are, they are no match for the Christmas light.
1) The differences between Christmas lights and the Christmas light.
First, there are some similarities between the two. They both draw attention. Lights on the Lake draws a pretty decent crowd during the holidays. And who doesn't enjoy a car ride to see how people have decorated their property? From the smallest display to the grandest, it all draws our attention. The light of Christ draws attention too. Even though some of it is negative attention, there's no escaping it. The light of Christ gets noticed.
Another similarity is that both bring enjoyment. Seeing the lighted Christmas tree in our living room brings feelings of happiness and warmth. It brings pleasure to see a well-done tree or light display. It's one of the things we look forward to during the holiday time. The light of Christ is no different. It brings joy and pleasure. When the light of Christ fills us up it brings a smile to our face and it warms our hearts.
And both lights illuminate. They both shine, they both pierce the darkness. However, none of the similarities are equal in their ability-Christmas lights will always fall short of being able to do what the light of Christ does. Even if your house looks like Clark Griswold's it still can't come close to the luminescence that comes from the light of Christ.
And there are some things the Christmas lights just cannot do that the light of Christ can. Christmas lights last only for a season. The Christmas lights typically go off and come down around the beginning of the new year. But the light of Christ burns bright all year long through his people shining that bright light.
Christmas lights fade but the light of Christ stays strong. Explain how after having a set of blue lights for a number of years and then buying a new strand how much different they look. After time the color fades. But the light of Christ within us shouldn't fade; in fact, it should increase.
2nd Cor. 3:16-18, "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
We who have been born again now have the ability, since we have the Spirit of Christ living in us, to be able to not only reflect the Lord's glory but to have it increase. The more we grow in Christ the brighter the light is reflected from us. The more we grow the more it shows.
Christmas lights are temporary but the light of Christ is eternal. Christmas lights are only for a season but the light of Christ is ever-present. Christmas lights break and go out and need to be replaced but the light of Christ is indestructible. Christmas lights are created; they're man made. But the light of Christ is not something that was made it has always been. It was there from the beginning.
John 1:1-5, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."
The light has existed forever but it wasn't seen as up close and personal until Jesus came into the world. Jesus is the light of the world, he is the light of mankind. He came to shine that pure light into the world, into men's hearts so they would come out of the darkness and into that wonderful, eternal light.
Christmas lights are artificial but the light of Christ is real. There is real light and then there's artificial light. The sun would be a real light, lightning would be a real light because they're not man made. Anything man made is considered an artificial light source. Spiritually speaking, this works too. John 1:9 and 1st John 2:8 calls Jesus the true light. If Jesus is the true light then there must be a false light. That is Satan. There is no light in him but he and his workers can present themselves as such.