Summary: Today is the first Sunday in Advent….a time for us to begin our preparations for the celebration of THE ONE that would change the face of the earth with his life. It’s the season when you and I participate in an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
How Will You Light Your Christmas? Dec 2, 2001
Today is the first Sunday in Advent….a time for us to begin our preparations for the celebration of THE ONE that would change the face of the earth with his life. It’s the season when you and I participate in an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus is the one who was born, He is the reason for this season and he often shared earthy stories with heavenly meanings. We refer to them as “parables”.
One great thing about Jesus was that he was the ultimate communicator. He knew how to reach the unreachable, touch the untouchable and breakthrough to those that were unbreakable. It was important to him in his life and ministry to be relevant, to share in ways that would resonate in the hearts of the hearers. Parables were given for three specific purposes:
To bring the hearer under conviction 2 Sam 12:1-6
To teach a spiritual truth IS 5:1-6
To illustrate a point Luke 10:25-37
Today I want to look at the very first parable that Christ shared in an effort to accomplish those three things and encourage us to think about how we are “lighting” our Christmas.
I’ll begin with the most popular bible verse of all time, John 3:16 and read on from there:
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,F that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.G 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
Jesus told us that He was the light…in him there was no darkness.
You see “light” is a weapon. Where there are weapons there is controversy.
That is why we see opposition when we try to light up a nativity scene on the lawn of a public building. That is why we have struggles to display the 10 Commandments in the hallways of our schools.
I remember when we were going through the tragedy at Columbine seeing a letter written to God asking why He didn’t do anything to stop the madness. His reply, simple yet profound: “because I am not allowed in schools”
There may have been more reality in that than we realize
The bible tells us that people who live in darkness don’t want anything to do with the light.
In darkness there is no choice. It is the light that enables us to see the difference in things and it is Christ who is the light and who gives the light to us.
Turn over and look at Matt 5:14
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
You are the light…What did He mean by calling us the light?
The word is often used in synonyms for being alive (Job 3:20), being born (3:16), the pleasures of life (Ps 97:11), good days for the righteous (112:4), or an essential in man’s happiness (36:9). Light and truth are coupled biblically (Ps 43:3; cf. Ps 19; Prov 6:23; Isa 51:4).
The recipient of light becomes a light, shining outwardly (Ps 34:5; Eccl 8:1) and inwardly (Prov 20:27; Dan 5:11).
When we ask Him into our heart, when we accept the Lord, His light shines on us…thus making us alive, making us Born-again(new beginnings).
You will notice that when anyone accepts the Lord for the first time, they are like a blow-torch for God…they take that light everywhere and after talking with them, you know that you have been lit.
What Jesus was saying to those who received him is that we have been changed: we are now the “illumination of the world”. When we arrive in an office, on the job site, at the home, our radiance should do what it was given to us to do….
Expose darkness and light up the area we are in