"Jesus is the divine Light of the world, because he brings a new life to replace our spiritual deadness, because he shows us the truth that heals our spiritual blindness , and because he is the beauty that breaks our addictions to money, sex and power. As Wonderful Counselor he walks with us even into and through the shadow of death (Matthew 4:16), where no other companion can go. He is a Light for us when all other lights go out." - Hidden Christmas, Timothy Keller
There are two things coming up in church life that are very specific to knowing, understanding and celebrating that Jesus is the Light of the world. The first is lighting candles on Christmas Eve. This simple act is one that so many people look forward to as part of their traditions and celebrations. When we pause for a moment during our services, light candles and take stock of the power that they have to illuminate the room, it's memorable to say the least. What does it mean to know the One who shines through the darkness all around us and in our own hearts? It's life transforming!
The second is water baptism. "He brings new life to replace our spiritual deadness." As I'm writing this there are already four people who have asked to be baptized in water during the service on New Year's Eve. Baptism declares to the world that you have seen the great Light (Isaiah 9:2) and that you have chosen to walk in Him and with Him, leaving behind the old life of darkness. I am so excited to celebrate as a church with those who are getting baptized... indoors... in a slightly unconventional way. (You'll see!)
Everywhere you go this season you will see people using light to celebrate. We light trees and houses and street lights and parks. We use light to make things beautiful and meaningful. So as we come to these significant times as a church in the next few weeks, let's let our hearts be drawn to the reason for it all, the divine Light of the world.
See you on Sunday,
PS - Would you like to be baptized on December 31st? It's not too late... Click here.
Come to Worship: Bow Your Knees
Matthew paints a picture for us of dignitaries bowing before a child. Bowing is not exactly a normal thing to do in our culture, so it may be hard for us to understand. Imagine bowing to that 2-year-old kid that you know. Feels wrong, doesn't it? What is it about us that is fundamentally unyielding? Is this low posture a reasonable response to what we find in the manger? Join us on Sunday. Come and Worship.