Summary: Jesus lights the way for those living in darkness.
Light Has Come
Rev. Brian Bill
December 7-8, 2019
Great job, Edge Kids! Indeed, the light has come! Special thanks to Sheila Kuriscak, Patty Steele, Cheryl Williams and Wendy Czekalski.
And to the leaders of our Beginner Choir – Angela, James and Karol Sheese and Carol and Krista Baxa.
Whenever I hear about Jesus being the light of Christmas, I think about a time I tangled with darkness when I was about 8 years old.
My bedroom was in the basement, which was really cool because I got to be away from my four sisters and have some privacy. The tough thing was that it was really dark at night. I was normally pretty adept at finding my way around in the dark and liked the challenge of finding the bathroom in the middle of the night.
I still remember my route. I’d get out bed, feel for my paneled wall and then find the door. After opening the door, I would turn right, walk through a curtain, touch the water heater on my right, some shelving on my left and would then turn right at my dad’s workbench. I’d then put my hands up to feel the ductwork in the ceiling, walk past the furnace, being careful not to crash into the woodpile and finally make it to the bathroom. I could do the whole thing without ever turning a light on. I know that’s more information than you wanted to know.
One night I woke up and got out of bed in order to use the bathroom. Without realizing it, I had gotten out of the wrong side of the bed. Instead of finding the door, I was on the other end of my room, frantically searching for a way out. I started to panic. I couldn’t figure out who moved the door on me – it must have been one of my sisters!
The more I searched for the exit the more upset I became. I was completely in the dark. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. The darkness was so thick I could almost feel it, which started to freak me out. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and panicked. My heart started racing and I began screaming at the top of my lungs for my mom and dad. Eventually they came running down the stairs, opened my door (which was behind me) and turned the light on. I’ll never forget how glad I was to see them!
We’re beginning a new series called, “Down to Earth: Christmas According to Isaiah.” Over 700 years before the first Christmas, a plaintive plea was uttered by those who wondered how much longer they would have to stumble around in the dark. Our theme verse is Isaiah 64:1: “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!”
Please turn to Isaiah 9:1-2. If you’re using the Bible from the rack in front of you, this text begins on page 680. If you don’t have a Bible, feel free to take one with you. We also have a Bible on our free mobile app. Simply search for “Edgewood QC” in Google Play or the Apple App Store.
In order to interpret our passage correctly, it’s important to understand some history. Please don’t check out – I’ll keep it short and I think you’ll find it interesting.
In Genesis 12, God selected Abraham to be the grand patriarch of a special nation. He became the father of Isaac, who became the father of Jacob, who had twelve sons. Their families grew and turned into tribes. These twelve tribes eventually settled in the Promised Land (Wisconsin); the land God had originally promised to Abraham.
Benjamin and Judah settled in the south around Jerusalem and the other ten put down roots in the north. They were all united for many years but when King Solomon died, a rupture occurred, and the ten northern tribes split off from the two southern ones. The northern tribes became known as the nation of Israel and the southern ones made up the nation of Judah.
It didn’t take long for the northern tribes to turn away from God and begin worshipping idols. They became increasingly depraved and eventually made an alliance with Syria in order to attack Judah.
As you can imagine, the people in the south were afraid, so God raised up the prophet Isaiah to give them hope in Isaiah 7-8. Also Isaiah predicted the Northern Kingdom would be destroyed by the Assyrians. Not surprisingly, this came to pass, and the ten tribes were decimated and dispersed to distant places. They’ve become known as the ten lost tribes of Israel.
This area to the north in Israel was filled with darkness, distress and despair. While this is real history, it also describes what has happened to the entire human race. God made us to have a relationship with Him, but we’ve all turned from Him and served other gods, leaving us in deep despair and darkness.