LET US ADORE HIM (Part 3) The Light In The Darkness Advent Week #3 John 1: 4-5 Pastor Carey December 17, 2017

01-1217A woman whose husband died six months before Christmas wrote this note in a Christmas card to a close friend, “Some have tried to prepare me saying, ‘This first Christmas without your husband will be hard for you.’ It will be, of course. But without Christmas, my life would be impossible.” At the time of her husband’s death, that woman thought that God had turned out the light. But then, along came the reminder of the familiar Christmas message that God had reached out and turned on the light for all time – for all people.

Rather than using the more traditional birth narrative accounts from Matthew and Luke’s Gospels, this year we will be looking at the story of the birth of Christ through the lens of John’s Gospel.  Our title , LET US ADORE HIM comes from the refrain of one of the most endeared of all Christmas Carols, O Come, All Ye Faithful. 02-1217Daily adoration is our response as disciples of Jesus to the coming Christ child, the savior who was born to be crucified, dead and buried for our sins and the risen Lord of all.  So this Christmas season, let’s join together and adore Jesus for all he has, does and will forever do for us, in us and through us!

Many believe that John’s Gospel is a NT “Genesis” where Jesus has come to make all things new.  Each week we are focusing on how Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection does, indeed, recreate all that was lost when humanity first sinned and fell to sin’s temptation.  The coming of Jesus was part of God’s plan of redemption from the beginning.  Genesis 1:1 tells us that pre-creation world was formless, empty and dark and on “Day 1” of creation God spoke “light” into the darkness and everything changed – there was day and night.  On day 4, God created two great lights – one to govern daytime and one light to govern nighttime. 03-1217
Even in the creation actions, God was preparing a dark world for the true light of Jesus – THE light in the darkness.
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  1. Jesus is the victorious light that overcomes chaos. It amazes me every year how much Christmas – meant to remind us that God brings peace into our life and world – can become so chaotic. How many different things do we try and squeeze into our “holiday”?  How booked up is your calendar over the next few days?  How much room is there to add “one more thing” between now and January 1st? How much more shopping do you have left to do? Living a life where everything around us is chaotic is like trying to drive at night with no headlights.  Chaos thrives in darkness. It keeps us from being able to focus. Chaos paralyzes us on the one hand and speeds us up on the other.  It keeps us from moving forward and causes us to move in circles without going anywhere. The light of Christ always overcomes the darkness of chaos.05-1217
  1. Jesus is the revealing light that shows the true self. We never really see ourselves until we see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes. I like the way I look in the dark!  In the dark I am thin, intelligent and very handsome!  The darkness is a place where lies can take over and fool us to believe that lies are truth.  But along comes Jesus into a world ruled – and blinded by darkness.  Because of sin, humanity had lost its right relationship with God.  In fact, sin caused us to pull away from God, to mistrust God and to try and become our own God. The Christmas story is a divine rescue mission.  Jesus comes into a world he himself created and was not recognized – or even expected.  And this is how Jesus works at times: he sneaks up on us, surprises us and reveals himself and our need for him to us.  And when we allow the light of Christ to illuminate our life we discover that…
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  1. Jesus is the guiding light that removes doubt and uncertainty. I love the GPS feature on my cell phone and truck. It has gotten me to places I have never been and also gotten me home from places I never thought I’d get out of! The same can be said of Jesus.  There have been times I had no idea where to go, or how I would get to where I needed to go.  There have been times when I wondered how I was going to get back – or out of the mess I was in.  Yet, when I yielded to his leadership and guidance, slowly and surely, Jesus guided my every step.  I still doubt and still struggle with yielding control.  But the Lord is patient with me – as he is with all persons.

Robert W. Sutton shares the story about a television program about blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, “Left!” and “Right!” As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers’ word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.  What a vivid picture of the Christian life! In this world, we are “blind” at times about what course to take. We must rely solely on the Word of the only One who is truly sighted Jesus! His Word gives us the direction we need to finish the course.
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Along comes Christmas 2017 to remind us that in Jesus, God still reaches out to us, turning the light of his love back on for us all.  The light of Jesus overcomes our wildest chaos, reveals our need for a transforming and guiding God and restores our true joy and peace that will never allow total chaos to dominate our lives again!  Let us adore Jesus – the true light in the darkness.

 

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