The Season Of Light


john-8-12

At this time of year I look fondly at Christmas memories, my heritage, and holiday expectations. There are so many traditions to enjoy, including food, enjoying certain activities, and decorating our homes with lights. Both a tradition and expectation are the lights we see at this time of year. Our homes, businesses, and even the streets shine brightly with millions of white and colored lights. We enjoy decorating our homes and driving around to look at all the light displays. Why do we have such a fascination with light?

I won’t attempt to answer this question from a scientific perspective, although I think we are probably wired to be interested in light. I believe our love of light is explained within the pages of our Holy Scriptures.

Light is a common metaphor for God throughout the Bible. The first thing God created was light (Genesis 1:3) and He separated light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4). Interestingly, He created light before He made the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-16). Isaiah 9:1-7 predicts the birth of our Savior, calling Him a great light.  As Jesus was born He was called light (Matthew 4:16 and John 1:5). Jesus told us He is the light of the world (John 8:12 and John 12:46) and we’re also told that God is light (1 John 1:5). More exciting is that we are children of God; therefore we are children of light (Ephesians 5:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:5). At the end of the Bible God tells us Jesus will be the light for the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:23).

There are more references in Scripture to light than are practical to post, but I think you get the idea. Jesus is light. Therefore decorating with light is fitting, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

James 1:17

…Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights…

May your Christmas be richly blessed by the Light of the World.

 

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images

The Season of Light


christmas-lights

I love Christmas lights. Putting lights on our trees and houses brings a special warmth into the season. Public light displays also add to the festive Spirit. One of our favorite traditions is going to look at the Christmas lights after Christmas Eve services. The history of Christmas lights is interesting; and the information is easy to find. But what is more important to my family is what those lights represent. Light is an expression of God’s love toward us.

Throughout Scripture, God uses various forms of light as a metaphor for His love, and to draw us to Himself.

 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:3-4

 “Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’”  John 8:12

 During this precious Christmas season, when we admire the lights, turn your attention to the creator of light and give Him your full admiration.

An excerpt from Follow The Light:

…Consult several Bible commentaries discussing the creation story and you will find the word light in Genesis 1:3 is the Hebrew word owr. There are eleven meanings of the word, including light of life and Jehovah as Israel’s light.[i] The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains light as meaning, “That which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory.”[ii] Use that sentence in place of the word light in Genesis 1:3 and we learn, “And God said, ‘Let there be that which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory,’ and there was that which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory.” Remember this thought with the following word equation:

Light = That which most clearly reveals and most closely approximates God’s glory.

 What does glory mean? An excellent word picture is found in Exodus 40:34 (GNT). “Then the cloud covered the Tent and the dazzling light of the Lord’s presence filled it.” In this context, glory means “the weight or worthiness of something. It describes greatness and splendor, and it is sometimes translated as ‘honor.’”[iii] Our word equation looks like this:

 Glory = Worthiness, greatness, splendor, and honor.

 In the Strong’s Bible Dictionary, glory also means owr or light.[iv] Now our word equation looks like this:

 Glory = Light.

So in Genesis 1:3 when God said, “Let there be light,” He was providing His glory, or Himself, as the light! This makes sense because God created man to fellowship with Him. There was no reason for God to withhold His very best. We can rewrite our word equation as:

 Light = God.

 In John 8:12, Jesus tells us He is the light of the world. John 14:10 tells us God and Jesus are one. The author of Hebrews tells us, “God’s Son has all the brightness of God’s own glory and is like him in every way. By His own mighty word, He holds the universe together. After the Son had washed away our sins, He sat down at the right side of the glorious God in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3 (CEV)

The Greek word for glory is doxa. Doxa means “splendor, brightness, and a most glorious condition or exalted state. It also means “the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that Christians shall enter upon their Savior’s return from heaven.”[v]

 The Son is not just reflecting God’s glory; He is God and radiates His own essential glory.[vi] This glory is sent forth and promised to true Christians after Christ’s return.[vii]

_____________________________________________________________

[i] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘owr (Strong’s 216)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 27 Jul 2013. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H216&t=KJV >

[ii] MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (2005), Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, TN, Page 8

[iii] Ibid, Page 926

[iv] Strong, James, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, 1996, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, TN, Page 112

[v] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for doxa (Strong’s 1391)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 27 Jul 2013. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1391&t=KJV >

[vi] MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (2005), Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, TN, Page 1836

[vii] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for doxa (Strong’s 1391)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 27 Jul 2013. < http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1391&t=KJV >

Scripture: http://www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images

Christmas Light


bethlehemstarmotion01

Why are Christmas lights so magical? We have beautiful lights on display at other times of the year. Perhaps it’s because there are more lights at Christmas time, or maybe it’s because Christmas lights represent a promise fulfilled one quiet night some 2,000 years ago.

Christmas light is revealed twice in the story of the birth of Christ. The narrative is found Luke 2:1-40. We’ve read the story many times, but take another look. Christmas light is promised to everyone, it says so in the announcement. Beginning in verse 8, we learn the shepherds are visited by an angel of the Lord. The news is very special.

8 ‘And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”’

The glory of the Lord was shining! That light brought the first revelation of Christmas light, found in verse 10. The angel brought news of great joy for ALL the people. But there is more light in the story, continuing with verse 22:

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 ‘When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord  …

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismissyour servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There it is in verse 31 and 32. We see that Christ is a light for revelation to the Gentiles. Again, ALL the people were included in the promise.

But there is more light in the story of Christmas. We find it in Matthew 2.1-12. Matthew’s gospel tells us the story of the Magi following the Christmas star to find the baby Jesus, and worship Him. Verses 9-11 tell us about the star: 

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. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

Imagine the light of this beautiful star! The Christmas star directed the Magi, just as the light of Christ will direct us, if we are open to Him.

Christmas light is our precious Lord and Savior.

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

May you and yours receive the full blessings of this Christmas Season.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images