Arise! Shine!

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Isaiah 60:1-3

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.

As we enter into another Christmas season it is virtually impossible to ignore the holiday simply due to the sheer number of decorations around our city. Downtown Baton Rouge is lit up every night with Christmas lights twinkling and glowing in the darkness. In the windows of homes throughout he neighborhoods of BR, tree lights glow through the glass and yards and rooftops are illuminated by hundreds, and even thousands of lights. Entire yards are decorated with all sorts of Christmas themed decorations. It is unmistakable that people love the Christmas holiday. Every night, the city lights up with Christmas joy and anticipation of the big day.

There is something comforting about light isn’t there? For some reason, those tiny lights on the Christmas tree, although hardly a heat source, quietly and calmly warm our hearts. Perhaps its fond Christmas memories, or the backdrop of the evergreen tree against the soft lights, or maybe the anticipation of opening all those neatly wrapped gifts under the well-lit tree. The joys of Christmas are not too hard to come by. It sure beats sitting in the dark. Other than when we are sleeping, we don’t typically like the darkness. So when light is introduced into dark places where we are uncertain or unsure, we are instantly comforted. I’m sure there are multiple reasons why this phenomenon is so easily observed, but the primary reason, I believe, is that it’s just the way God made us. We prefer the light over darkness.

When darkness covers the hearts of man, and we are lost and confused in this life, our only hope is light. We so desperately want to have our way illuminated that we seek after it in a variety of creative yet unfulfilling ways. Whether it be through money, sex, power, indulgence, promotion, reputation, or simple personal pursuits, we are always left empty and in darkness. In the deepest parts of our hearts, we still long to be illuminated by truth that never fades or grows dark. God knows this about us, so he gave us Jesus.

This is ultimately what Christmas is all about; the coming of light into the darkness. The light is Jesus (John 1:1-4), who is the incarnation of God Almighty, in all of his perfect glory and holiness. Jesus is the perfect representation of God to man in human flesh (Col. 1:15-20). Jesus is the light in the darkness of  this world, which is corrupted by sin and selfishness that has left each of us broken, lost, and confused. We need help out of the darkness of sin, and Jesus came to be our light. He has risen upon us like the morning sun, piercing the darkness of confusion and doubt. Jesus Christ was born among men as a man so that we could be forgiven for our transgressions against God and then embrace our purpose in this life to know God and love God through faith in Jesus Christ.  Apart from Jesus, darkness remains. But by faith in the only Son of God, there is light now and forever more.

Don’t miss this life-changing truth this Christmas season. When you see lights, remember The Light. When you experience sorrow, doubt, or confusion, consider Jesus. He has come to illuminate your heart and deliver you into the kingdom of his light.

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