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Light of the World

It appears that we are moving at warp speed toward Christmas, too rapidly in my view. It all goes by like a flash. I like to linger and savor all the sights and sounds (and flavors) of this season.

And I find it very unfortunate that we don’t spend more time focusing on the Advent and Christmas passages of Scripture, except in this one season, because there is so much Gospel in them. For example, Isaiah 9, the amazing prophecy of the mysterious “Son” (Isaiah 9:6) and Luke 1, where similar language of light and darkness occurs in the story of John the Baptist’s birth and the prophecy of his ministry.

The interplay of light and darkness in these two famous chapters highlights the fact that we don’t live, as popular views would have it, in various kinds or degrees of light until we come into the full light of Jesus and his Gospel. Rather, any life lived outside the light of God is seen in the Bible as only darkness. Jesus isn’t the “best light” available, but the real light, the only light in a world engulfed in spiritual darkness.

This is the message of Christmas, the source of joy in its arrival, and the implications it has for a world divided, families against families, nations at odds with one another, and conflicting ideas vying for our allegiance. It is the one clear, unambiguous, utterly reliable Word of truth for those dwelling in darkness and in the shadow of death. It is the startling, and utterly unique, message that in Jesus Christ the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

So share the true story of the Messiah with your children and the bold adventures of those heroes of faith who have battled demons and dragons in the his name. As C.S. Lewis said, “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

Let’s come to celebrate the Light of the world together this Sunday, and spend time this Christmas season laying out personal strategies on how to communicate this Good News to our neighbors. Let us determine to make the lives of our families and communities brighter, not darker, not just for this season, but through the next year and beyond.

John Snyder

John Snyder is an international pastor, conference speaker, and author of “Resenting God: Escape the Downward Spiral of Blame” from Abingdon Press. He is also the author of “Your 100 Day Prayer” from Thomas Nelson Publishers, a transformational 100-day guided prayer journey, and “Reincarnation vs. Resurrection” from Moody Press. John has been featured on Focus on the Family, Moody Radio, Fox News, Faith Radio Network, Cru, American Family Radio Network, In the Market with Janet Parshall, The Bottom Line with Roger Marsh, Miracle Channel, Bill Martinez Live, and many more. As an ordained Presbyterian pastor, John has served congregations in the United States and planted churches in California and Switzerland. He is the advisor and lead author for theology and culture blog Theology Mix (theologymix.com), which hosts 80+ authors and podcasters, and visitors from 175 countries. He currently hosts The Walk Podcast on Theology Mix. The Walk is about our faith walk, the way we live out our faith in our daily life. Pastor Snyder brings some of his conversations of faith from all aspects with writers, pastors, friends, musicians, entrepreneurs, and others.

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