Pastor’s Desk

One of the most beautiful things about this time of year is all the lights. I love driving around and looking at the gorgeous displays that people have on their houses and yards.

Posted Dec. 13, 2012

The Nativity scene is familiar at this time of year, and the visual of all the holiday lights tends to lift spirits.

Christmas Lights

By Pastor Allen Wickstrom

Assembly of God Church

One of the most beautiful things about this time of year is all the lights. I love driving around and looking at the gorgeous displays that people have on their houses and yards. Christmas trees get the full treatment of lights, tinsel and are topped off with either an angel or a star. Some people complain that Christmas trees are pagan, and that all of the lights and hoopla cause us to lose the true meaning of Christmas. But we need to enjoy the lights, because if you think about it, they speak volumes of why Jesus came.

John 1:1-5; 9-13 (NASB)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus is the Word and was responsible for creation, as well as God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The first recorded words that God spoke were, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) Have you ever noticed that darkness can’t ever overpower light? No matter how dark it is, a little bit of light is noticeable. When Jesus came, He brought light into a dark and sinful world, where there was little hope for most people. He also brought life, and this scripture says that the ‘life’ was the Light of men. When Jesus was born the glory of the Lord (light) shone around the shepherds, and a star led wise men to where He was. Jesus brings light and life wherever He goes. The angels told the shepherds that they were bringing them “good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11) Good tidings- good news! The very essence of the Gospel is good news. The good news is that Jesus came to bring light, life, hope, salvation and forgiveness to a dark, dead, hopeless, lost and condemned world. John 1:12 says that as many as receive Jesus become children of God, just by believing in His name. Faith! That is all it takes to become a child of God. Not works, because we can’t do enough good works to make up for our sin.

But we also become lights in a dark world when we know and live for Christ. Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) says, 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we should shine just like Him. We are to be like a bulb that is added to a string of Christmas lights – shining and bringing beauty to a dark world. We should shine forth the good news of the Gospel to a lost and dying world. We should twinkle with joy over knowing Jesus Christ and knowing that our sins are forever done away with and forgiven. Do you have that joy and peace and assurance in your life? Just like it isn’t hard to find the houses and yards decked out with the splendor of lights when you drive around Hettinger, when you truly believe and trust in Jesus, you won’t be hard to spot. Receive the gift of light this Christmas! Receive Christ!