Advent – The true light that gives light to everyone is coming into the world!
Categories: Pastor Dave's eNote
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” John1:9
Traditionally speaking, Advent is that time of the year when we anticipate the coming of Christ into the world. We remember a time when the people of faith waited in anticipation for the birth of the Messiah. Their hope was a hope for a different world, a different nation and most of all, different hearts. It was a hope for restoration – the restoration of the image of God with in us and the restoration of God’s rule on earth.
As Christians, we believe that the birth of Jesus Christ changed the world forever. We hold fast that God’s redemptive and restoring hand has come into the world through Jesus Christ. Just as significantly, we also affirm that the birth of Jesus is significant for us personally. Our lives are forever changed because Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Frederick Beuchner was right when he shared, “Gospel writers are not really interested primarily in the facts of the birth but in the significance, the meaning for them of that birth just as the people who love us are not really interested primarily in the facts of our births, but in what it meant to them when we were born and how for them the world was never the same again, how their whole lives were changed with new significance.”
This Advent season, as you consider and contemplate the birth of Jesus Christ into the world, I want to also encourage you to consider what your birth and rebirth in Jesus means to the world. Your birth is significant. You really matter. Your rebirth in Jesus was intended to make a God-shaped difference to the people around you.
The writer of the fourth Gospel takes a different angle of vision on the birth of Christ. In his gospel there are no shepherds, no angels and no Inn. For John, Jesus is the very word of God that brought the world into being in the form of a human being. He is the very light of God that breaks into the darkness of the world. This light has become a gift to those who belong to Jesus.
Together, we are going to consider what it means for us to be people of light. We are going explore in God’s word not only the significance of the birth of Jesus, but the significance of our own birth and rebirth through faith in Jesus. God’s plan for your life is profound. You are made to love people, to bring justice to an unjust world, to encourage the discouraged, to build the kingdom of God on Earth, to bring hope to the hopeless, to restore that which is broken and to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.
The true light that gives light to everyone is still coming into the world. What once came in Jesus now comes in us. I pray with all my heart, that as you anticipate the coming of Christ into the world you also ponder the significance of your own life.
In closing, I want to share a story with you. You’ll hear much in the coming weeks about our trip to Honduras. You will learn that we built classrooms, completed a cafeteria, remodeled bathrooms, poured sidewalks, replaced wiring and the list goes on! What might get lost, is the story of a little girl by the name of Jennifer. She is a good student at the school. She is quiet. She works hard to complete her assignments. Her teachers describe her has helpful. She dreams of a future. In her dreams, she imagines a family, a house, a loving husband and perhaps some children she can love. However, like so many children in Honduras, she doesn’t know that there is a God who has a plan for her.
On our last day in Honduras we presented a make shift puppet show. Most of our puppets were stolen in a bizarre break and entry (I’ll write more about that later!). In the world of puppets however the saying is true – the show must go on. We presented a puppet version of the prodigal son. Afterwards, an invitation was issued to the children to come forward and accept Jesus. One young woman did so. Her name was Jennifer. As we prayed with her, I was reminded once again that the light always shines in the darkness and the darkness is never able to overtake the light. I was also reminded that it’s always, always, always about people.
Your birth is significant. Your life touches other lives. This Christmas I pray you know that the greatest gift given to you is Jesus Christ. And the second greatest gift given to others is Jesus Christ in you.
Dr. David L. Davis