Today's Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“…the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world…He came to that which belonged to Him, to His own – His domain.”
John l: 9, 11
King James Version
“Great little one! Whose all embracing birth, Lifts Earth to Heaven, Stoops Heaven to Earth.”
English religious poet
“…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”
Matthew 2: 1, 2
King James Version
Since we live in what is called the “Desert Southwest,” a common Christmas light is called a luminary – a bag with a candle inside. Years ago, it was a common sight to see paper bags with sand, holding candles. However, like most “fire conscious” individuals who live in more forested areas, we now put out electric lights that are contained in bags. I have to admit, I was delighted the other night, after darkness fell, to see the lighted luminaria following the path to our front door. It was a warm, inviting look and combined with a full moon – it certainly put me in a festive Christmas mood.
From the moment angels from heaven came to shepherds in a Judean field over 2,000 years ago, to this very day, “light” has always been a part of the Christmas story.
In Luke 2, we are told how “The angel of the Lord, came upon them (Shepherds), and the glory of the Lord shone round about them,” (Luke 2: 9, K.J.V.). The announcement of Jesus’ birth – the coming of the “Light” into the world – was made by an angel who brought his message surrounded by heavenly light. But the shepherds weren’t the only people on earth who had Heaven’s light illuminate their lives when Jesus came to earth.
The Bible also gives us a record of wise men from the East. In Matthew 2, we read that these “Magi” saw a star in the heavens. A special “star” we are told, appeared. I find it interesting that these “wise men” were looking upward for light not downward. They were looking to the heavens for light not to the earth. Where we are looking for light makes all the difference in the world for all light is not equal. As the author James Thurber notes, “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.”
During the holidays, it is the glare of commercial holiday light that sometimes obscures our eyes from the “Light” that shines down from Heaven to earth.
Tonight I invite you, when darkness envelopes your world, take a look to the Heavens and let yourself be reminded of “The Heavenly Light” – our God’s Son Jesus – who came into this world to illuminate your life and mine.
“Son of the Father, born before times dawn, rise as our Daystar, hope of all the world.
O Star of Jacob, light of heaven above, light up our darkness, shine upon us all.
Kings, kneel in homage; give to Christ, your King,
Gold, myrrh, and incense, faith and hope and love.
This day God’s glory dawns on Zion’s hill;
Now shall all nations walk in Zion’s light.”
Praise for All Seasons
“Be Thou a bright flame before me.
Be Thou a guiding star above me.
Be Thou a smooth path below me.
Be Thou a kindly shepherd behind me.
Today – tonight—and forever.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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