The Weekly Word: The light of Christmas makes all the difference
By the Rev. Daniel Larson, Pastor, Cross Lutheran Church
“And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts”
— 2 Peter 1:19.
The darkness of winter has now set in. Have you felt it affecting you? In the north, you can expect fewer than nine hours of light each day this month. Southern states don’t do much better.
Eventually, the darkness can drag you down. You can feel lethargic, lonely and depressed. However, even in this darkest month of the year, there is a sliver of hope. On Dec. 23rd, the days start getting longer. Oh, it is only a few seconds of daylight at first, but each day a few more seconds and minutes are added, and very slowly, the days begin to lengthen.
It is such a small change that you might not even notice it. But even this small change can make all the difference in our attitude and outlook, for it gives us hope for spring and summer yet to come.
On Dec. 25th we celebrate another event that brings much needed light into our lives.
At first, that event seemed so insignificant that many people did not notice it either. It was so simple and ordinary, but even something so small made all the difference in the world. It was the birth of the baby Jesus. He is Christ the Lord.
The joy that this child brought to the world is so much more than the normal joy we feel when a baby is born in our families. This baby had been expected for a long time and prophets of old had predicted what He would accomplish.
The baby Jesus would grow up to carry the darkness of our sins upon Himself and atone for them all. As the Son of God, Jesus was designated by His Father as our Redeemer, destined to be our Savior.
God led Wise Men to this Savior by a light in the sky and now God leads us to that same Savior through the light of His Word, the Bible.
And our light doesn’t stop just above Bethlehem, it leads us also to Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum, and ultimately to the hill at Golgotha. It leads us to the foot of the cross where Jesus died an innocent death in our place.
The light of His Word leads us to His empty tomb where our Savior rose from the dead, assuring us of new life. His light also leads us to lift our eyes heavenward, longing for that day when our Savior, that great Morning Star, will return in all His brightness and glory to bring us home to be with Him.
So, this Christmas we give thanks to God who has called us out of the darkness of our sins and into His wonderful light — the light of hope and peace!
Yes, the birth of Jesus may seem to us like a simple, insignificant event according to our way of thinking. However, the light of Christmas, which the baby Jesus brings into our hearts and lives through the message of His Gospel, can make all the difference in the world!
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All of us at Cross Lutheran Church invite you to worship with us at our Candlelight Service this Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. Let us discover again how the light of Christmas makes all the difference!