Today we shared more Christmas praises!
Joe shared one of his favorites from 2019:
One of the first indications of the Christmas season is LIGHT. The appearance of lights seemingly everywhere – on trees, with candles, above streets; there is radiance all around us.
Lights are not just for decoration of course, they are symbolic.
In his book, Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller says one of the most important spiritual truths at Christmas is this: the world is a dark place, and we will never find our way or see reality unless Jesus IS our light.
Keller writes that the word ‘darkness’ in the Bible refers to evil and ignorance. The world has evil and untold suffering. The world also has no one who can cure the evil and suffering. We look towards the earth and our human resources to try to fix the world. We think we can end darkness with intellect and innovation. That’s the ignorance.
So the message of Christmas is NOT, “we will be able to put together a world of unity and peace.” The message, instead, is a humble one: “Things really are this bad and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Nevertheless, THERE IS HOPE.”
Notice the verse in Isaiah doesn’t say the light comes from the world…it says that upon the world a light has dawned. It has come from the outside, and Jesus has brought that light to save us! Because, as John 8:12 says, He IS that light!
Dylan shared a Christmas thought from Amy Boucher Pye in ‘Our Daily Bread’…
When John’s cold turned into pneumonia, he ended up in the hospital. At the same time, his mother was being treated for cancer a few floors above him, and he felt overwhelmed with worries about her and about his own health. Then on Christmas Eve, when the radio played the carol “O Holy Night,” John was flooded with a deep sense of God’s peace. He listened to the words about it being the night of the dear Savior’s birth: “A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” In that moment, his worries about himself and his mother vanished.
This “dear Savior” born to us, Jesus, is the “Prince of Peace,” as Isaiah prophesied (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when He came to earth as a baby, bringing light and salvation to “those living in the land of the shadow of death” (Matthew 4:16; see Isaiah 9:2). He embodies and gives peace to those He loves, even when they face hardship and death.
There in the hospital, John experienced the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) as he pondered the birth of Jesus. This encounter with God strengthened his faith and sense of gratitude as he lay in that sterile room away from his family at Christmas. May we too receive God’s gift of peace and hope.
Congratulations to Rebecca from Butler, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!
Pat from Mount Vernon and Pam from Fredericktown!
Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan
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