“Light into the Darkness”
Pastor David Moore
New Testament reading: Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV)
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband, was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.
Theme: Bob Dylan says, “Humankind cannot save itself.” That is why Jesus had to come, to turn the darkness into light.
Old Testament reading:Isaiah 9:1-8 (NIV)
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Nephtali, but in the future He will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan—
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel.
When men stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything. ~G. K. Chesterton
See the world understands it is dark, there have just been human-based solutions. Humanity has always been working towards a solution, but never found any. Greeks sought more and more wisdom. Everyone has been waiting for a great theory on life, the universe, and everything. “This is the answer.” Then all the problems will have been solved. The Jews looked to politics. Today we look to politicians, philosophers, economists, theological leaders and after pursuing these options, people are still in the dark. ~D. Moore
Atheist Bertrand Russell wrote he was tired of all the atheists who wouldn’t face the real issue. If there is no God, or we can’t know God, then all is an accident.
People follow mystics and other religions and gurus, therapists and politicians all looking for light. Nevertheless, if Christianity is right, there is hope. Apart from hope, there is only darkness. ~D. Moore
Luke 5:5: Lord, I don’t understand, nevertheless at your word I will.
The non-Christians way of dealing with life is denying the darkness. They say things aren’t so dark or so bad. ~D. Moore
John 1:26: And Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Darkness to light. It is odd that God sent His Son as a child, and really odd, through the city of Nazareth. ~D. Moore
Things to remember as we move toward Christmas Day:
1. No matter what you have done, remember that God loves you.
2. It is true that Jesus humbled Himself in coming to us, we must imitate His humbleness. 3. The world considers Jesus foolish; the wisdom of God is foolish. Being believers in Jesus, the world will view our beliefs and our actions of forgiving people, turning the other cheek, giving our time, money, and energy to the less fortunate as foolish. To have your King born into a nowhere place and to die a horrible death, that was God’s plan. However foolish it might seem, Jesus accomplished what He was tasked with.
4. All of what Jesus has done for each of us, should begin as joy that is untouchable by the world. The world was/is dark, and yet light has come to the world, and because of that, there is hope.
This week look at how you live. Are you in the light? God bless!