Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christ, the Light!

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:9-13)

My daughter is accustomed to having a nightlight burning in her room at night when she sleeps. There is a measure of comfort to her to know that the light is burning. Occasionally the bulb in the nightlight will burn out. For my daughter it is a frightening experience when this happens at night-time. If she wakes and the light is not there she calls out to let me know that something is wrong. By replacing the bulb, her fears are calmed and the whole household can return to sleep.

Jesus tells us that he himself is the light of the world. Without this light, we cannot see, we cannot find comfort. With the light of Christ we are comforted and we can enjoy life calmly. The light was first introduced into the world at the first Christmas. Today, Christ-followers carry the light of Jesus in their spirits. While the light will not burn out (like a nightlight’s bulb), we must let it shine out through the things that we do, and the way that we live.

This is the message of Christmas—Let your light shine!

Father, shine the light of Jesus brightly this Christmas, and throughout the new year. Amen

Sunday, December 21, 2008


And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:10-12)

Join me in singing the following old hymn:

There’s within my heart a melody

Jesus whispers sweet and low,

“Fear not, I am with thee; Peace be still

In all of life’s ebb and flow.”

Songs like this fill my heart with the same thrill that strikes me when I think about the Nativity. That thrill can be described in one word: JOY.

The old preacher said that Christians should live a life that is guided by joy. He explained that meant that we should approach life in the following manner:

o Jesus

o Others

o Yourself

This Christmas season, let us put J. O. Y. into practical use in our lives.

Heavenly Father, remind us of the joy that came down at Christmas. Help us to make that joy the hallmark of our life. In the name of Christ we pray, Amen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)

I love Mexican food. It doesn’t always love me back (especially if it’s spicy), but I love Mexican food. I believe that I could eat Mexican food at least five times a week if my stomach would hold out. But my love for Mexican food is simply a passing thought when I think of love.

The movies have taught us that love is something that can develop overnight, or something that we fall into, like a vat of goo. We have so cheapened love that we don’t really know what love is.

Christ taught us what love is: He left all the glory that belongs to him to become a simple man living simply in a simpler time than our own. He made his first cradle in a manger, in a stall that was probably located behind a house in a crowded city. And he did all this for the express purpose of taking my place in death for my sins. That is love—true love. That is the love we sing about and remember at Christmas. Share it this season!

Father, Help us love one another enough to tell each other about your love for us. Amen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

One of the verses of a favorite children’s song says,

I have the Peace that passes understanding
Down in my heart;
Down in my heart;
Down in my heart;
I have the Peace that passes understanding
Down in my heart;
Down in my heart to stay.

It’s that peace that, sometimes confusing to the world, is so much a part of life with Jesus Christ. It is a peace that came to Earth in the form of a Baby in an out of the way place. It is that same peace that is deposited in the hearts and lives of everyone who trusts the Savior that the Baby was and is.

This season let us spread the peace that passes all understanding.

Dear Father, May your peace be in, around, and through us this day, and throughout this season. Amen.