Summary: This is a Christmas sermon emphasizing Christ came into the world to bring peace into our lives by shedding light on the way in which we are to walk.
The Light Brings Peace
Suppose you went into the basement of someone’s home and the lights went out. As you were walking back in the dark, your foot hit something and all of a sudden you started hearing barking and growling. How many of you are going to freeze? How many of you are going to yell for help? How many of you are going to yell for help and run. Now suppose 10 seconds later, the light comes back on and you see the huge ferocious dog that you had imagined was coming toward you, was simply a voice on a recording machine and you had triggered it when you bumped into the switch in the dark.
How many of you are breathing a sigh of relief. The light has brought you peace. Being able to see makes all the difference in the world. One of the problems we have in the world today is that we are walking in darkness, but we do not know it. When you walk in the dark you will stumble over things that you cannot see, especially if you have never been in that place before.
Darkness is something that’s very easy to get use to and you don’t even realize that its dark. Have you ever walked into a room and asked, “why do you have it so dark in here”, and turned on the lights and everyone goes to cover their eyes. Somebody says, “turn off that light.” If you do and you stay in the room you will get use to the same level of darkness. You too will be in more darkness than you were accustomed to. The longer we are in the dark, the less we welcome the light.
God tells us in the bible, that we are in darkness, and that we need light to see the dangers that are all around us. God knows that if we can avoid the dangers, we will have a certain amount of peace. Christmas is about a world in darkness that received light from God in the form of Jesus Christ.
The word of God tells us, that Jesus was the light that was coming into the world. Whenever there is a light, you see stuff that you don’t ordinarily want to see. How many of you have lower wattage bulbs to keep from showing the dirt in your house? How many of you have chosen the darkness to do something you know you should not have been doing?
God gave us Christmas not so that we can exchange gifts, but because we all have a problem. But one of the problems is that because the world is in spiritual darkness, we don’t think we have a problem. But if we didn’t have a problem there would be no need for us to have Christmas, because there would not be a need for a Savior called Jesus.
Can you imagine what it must have been like if you would have been there that night when the angels showed up to the shepherds. It was dark that night, much darker than it is around Cleveland with its city lights. They were outside of town, and it was hard to tell who was a few yards away from you.
Now the shepherds were not out in the field having a bible study. They were probably using language that we would consider inappropriate, foul, and just down right cussing. They were not the cute figures we see on Christmas cards or the holy looking little figurines of the manger scene. They were the people that other people looked down upon. They were the gypsies of their day. They didn’t quite fit in. They were always traveling and moving with their sheep. They didn’t have much of a home life. In today’s life they would be like some people who live in abandoned buildings, because that’s all they have available to them.
Shepherds had the reputation, whether it was fair or not, as being thieves. They weren’t trusted. You’d hold your pocketbook a little closer to yourself as you passed by them. Since they lived and moved with the sheep, they didn’t have the latest fashion in clothes, they didn’t look good, they didn’t smell good, and they didn’t finish high school or probably any school for that matter. They didn’t show up for worship services, because they were considered to be unclean. Their schedule didn’t allow for them to go through all the religious purification rites to be considered clean. So a good religious person would not touch a shepherd because touching one would make that person unclean.
So we have this group of guys out in a field who have been written off by society as not worth much and not worthy of God’s attention, and they are probably drinking and carrying on like drinking people often do, lying, telling tall tales, and using bad language.