Our Hope Wrapped in Light
It's our congregation's inside joke that as soon as the end of October arrives, our Pastor starts putting up his family's Christmas lights. The moment Halloween is over, he gets up on stage and announces it year after year, his lights are officially up! And we all have a big laugh over it, because we know that as soon as November arrives, our cold Canadian weather begins to move in. As a child, one of my earliest Christmas memories was when we would drive around as a family to admire the decorations on houses in affluent neighbourhoods. I was always astonished by the size of the houses, and also the care one would put towards creating what I called, decorative masterpieces! We loved gazing at the lights; lights on trees, lights on rooftops, coloured lights, moving lights, there were lights everywhere!
"After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed (Mt 2: 9,10)"
As captivated as I was, I can just imagine the fascination the wise men experienced as they saw the Promise appear in the sky. A star perceived from the east, the wise men identified Him as the One born King of the Jews; they gathered only to worship Him.
The moment Jesus was born, the star appeared in the sky. This symbolizes that He is the light of the world!
I am reminded of Tim Hughes' song Here I am to Worship. There's a line within that simply says, "Light of the world You stepped down into darkness..." And that's exactly what He did.
The star reminds us that Jesus is the light of this dark world.
You know, everyday people around the world are faced with darkness; child prostitution, slavery, hunger, poverty and mental illness, to name a few. But Jesus was born to be our light- the light in the midst of darkness. He came to bring us hope in that we never have to face another day alone.
The Bible says, the star led the wise men. It didn't just sit dormant, it didn't even leave them alone. Instead, it moved them towards the Promise.
Jesus as light leads us to a place of hope and promise in Him.
Rest assured, without Christ we are lost, alone and fearful. But with Him always by our side we can be confident that everyday He is leading us into a greater place of hope. And with hope, all things are possible!
"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him (Mt 2:11)."
As the story progresses, it notes, the star led the Wise Men right to Jesus the King of the Jews. And when they beheld Him, they bowed down and worshipped Him.
When we catch the revelation, that Jesus was born for both you and I- that we did not find Him, but that this whole time, He has been in pursuit of us; we won't be able to help ourselves but express our love towards Him through worship.
Jesus was born as an answer to humanity. And He pursues us by drawing us back to Himself.
As an adult, I've learned that light is not only hidden in a bulb we plug in, but figuratively it symbolizes the vision for our lives, the energy that flows through us everyday, and the hope we have in Jesus!
The next time we look at the Christmas lights on our trees or the stars in the sky; let's remember that Jesus as light shines even brighter! And He is capable of shinning beautifully in every dark area of our life!