Each week I write in this space and I generally write on the passage I’m using for my sermon text. There are a few weeks each year when I’m out of the pulpit for various reasons and this week is one of them. I’m not preaching this morning because our children are presenting their Christmas program.
There will be singing, silliness and a lesson about Jesus birth. The technical term is “the incarnation” and the Biblical term is “Immanuel” but they both mean when God became human and lived among us. Just for a minute, think about that. God took on human flesh and lived among us. We wonder what we most need to know ABOUT God and, in response, God gives us Himself.
Our culture often wants us to be “inclusive” and to act as if all religious beliefs are the same or equal. Yet, if Jesus is truly the incarnation of God then Christianity is nothing like those other religions and Jesus is nothing like those who claim to be prophets or those who claim to have found the path to God. That’s what is truly unique about Christ and the problem with our search for God. We long for and search for God but, through Christ, God came looking us. We seek the meaning of life but life came seeking us.
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5 ESV)
Isn’t that an interesting statement, “the darkness has not overcome it.” Have you ever been in absolute darkness? I’ve been in a cave and turned off all of the lights. You can’t see anything. You can literally hold your hand in front of your face and be unable to see it. But the smallest source of light can pierce the darkness and make it possible to begin to see things. The darkness can seem overwhelming, but it can’t overwhelm light. Light dispels the darkness, drives it back and makes life possible. Life is truly impossible without light…
With light life becomes possible. But not just possible, it becomes “full” of life. Jesus doesn’t just give light to life, He gives life. That’s what our culture misses. They see Jesus as just a good teacher who gives light and meaning to life. But, to see Jesus that way is to truly miss who He is and the importance of Christmas.
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus… And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:31, 34-35 ESV)
So, just one question for you to consider… do you simply see Him as a source of light or is He your life source? In other words, do you simply see Christ as providing some help and insight for navigating life or does He give you life? There’s a HUGE difference.