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Summary: Ice Storms of 2006: How to be lights of Christmas--My family and I have learned some important lessons this week we would not likely learn if our power was on. Link included to formatted text, PowerPoint Template, and many more Christmas sermons.

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Lights Out? Lights On!

John 19:26-27

http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/LightsOutLightsOn.html

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Don’t you love Christmas lights? I do. But we cannot turn on our tree…our generator is just barely able to keep up w/ the furnace and fridge at present. But last night in our dark neighborhood we saw something out the window…a neighbor down the street hooked his generator up to his outdoor Christmas lights, providing a real pick me up to many of us sitting in the dark right now.

The end of this month we’ll spend a full week at my parents’ house, and our 3 kids, and Josh and Jami and their 2 kids. Mom and dad are really looking forward to our arrival, but I predict that by the time we’re done with them they’ll testify that the prettiest Christmas lights they’ve ever seen are our tail lights as we all drive away!

The ice storms of 1 week ago have rendered many of us without power, and recovery is proving to be a very slow process. But it’s amazing what God can do in our hearts in difficult circumstances. My family and I have learned some important lessons this week I dare say we would not likely learn if our power was on. More on that in a minute.

But all of us can shine brighter in times like these. The darker our world, the better our light can shine. All you can see on our street is the lights of our neighbor!

We believe in Missions, shining a light to some dark places around the earth…and I like a saying that was on our missions board at Grace Baptist in Milan, NM as I grew up: “The light that shines farthest shines brightest at home.” Our internet ministry is also a bright light around the world today, but the brightest light should be right here in our area.

Our text says:

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”

First, let us remember that years before, this is the same mother and son who cuddled together. She is the one who birthed Him in that stable, changed his dirty swaddling clothes, and fed Him in many intimate moments, hiding them in her heart. She is the one who went back after Him as a boy in the temple when she thought she had lost Him. They had a special bond, no doubt.

Now, here’s the point: Notice what Christ did as He was dying. Looking down, He saw His mother, and in great concern that no one would care for her, He asked the disciple standing next to her to care for her and treat her as his own mother.

Even as Christ was dying, He saw the need of His mother. He wanted to make sure that His mother was well cared for before He died. This consideration for others was not just seen at Calvary but throughout His life as well.

His earthly ministry was about others. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Christ came to earth for the purpose of helping others find the way to Heaven. He cared for the needs of the sick, crippled, maimed, and others. Christ spent His time helping others.

He also was considerate of His disciples. He spent time with them, mentored them, exhorted them, taught them, and loved them. He instructed them in the way they should live and taught them the truth about God’s Word so they could reach others. He was reaching out to them so they could, in turn, reach out to others.

We all could admit that we don’t love others as much as Christ did. And sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us love others. A popular magazine reported that in the wake of the September 11 tragedy, over four hundred couples withdrew their divorce documents in just ten days. And we saw outpourings 2 years ago w/ the tsunami and last year w/ the hurricanes. What opportunities do we have right now in the dark? Are we being the light we need to be, or are we so self absorbed in pity that we cannot see beyond our own needs?

We have a generator because one of you reached out. And our neighbor has a kerosene heater of ours because we did the same. This morning I saw a beautiful sight—power company trucks out in front of our house. I took a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups out to them! Just a simple thing, but they acted like it was a huge blessing in the wake of so many sneers and complaints they regularly receive. It was such a small thing, but it meant so much more in the cold and dark…it was a light! I quipped to my wife, “Ain’t I a saint?! If anybody’s going to heaven I am!” [joking, of course]

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