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The Light of the World (John 1:9-13)

    Tonight’s message is a simple one. We’ve read the Christmas story and we’ve sung songs about the Christmas story that serve to help us remember what the details of the story are. The songs are great, and it is also great to read the Scriptures that tell us why we celebrate Christmas.
    My message tonight is from John 1:9-13, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
    We talk about light a lot this time of year, and we’ve lit the Christ candle which reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world. John’s gospel does the same in these verses.
    He starts by saying that there was the true Light which came into the world to enlighten every man. That sounds great, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds a lot like what many people look for. Many look for enlightenment for their souls, they look for light for their lives. They want to know true light. They search for a way to feel like their life is worth something, to feel like they are special.
    And that’s great, because John says that the true Light already came into the world to enlighten every man. The true Light didn’t just come for some people because they were really good, or because they lived in a certain place, or because they believed a certain way. John says that the true Light came to enlighten everyone!
    John continues, and he says that the Light was He, not necessarily because He’s a man, but because John wants us to know that the true Light isn’t a thought, it isn’t an idea, it isn’t a religion, the true Light is a being. He, this true Light, this being, came into the world, and John says that He made the world. So this being that we’re talking about, is the one who made the world.
    Well, by now, we should know that John is talking about God.
    Here’s the disappointing part though. John says that though the true Light came to enlighten all people on the world He made, the people of the world didn’t know Him.
    How? How could we not know the One Who created us? He came to bring us true Light, to bring us the enlightenment we so desperately search for. He came to bring us worth. He came to bring us purpose. But we didn’t know Him. And what John means there isn’t that we just didn’t know who He was, what John means is that we, all the people of the world, refused to recognize Him as the One Who created us.
    How could we not know Him?
    John goes on, and He says, “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”
    One of my favorite parts of the day is when the kids hear the lock on the front door turn and they all start running toward the door and screaming “Daddy, daddy!” Because they know that Jonny is home. I love to hear them do that.
    Sadly, we know that there is a day coming when they won’t be so excited for daddy to come home. Even though he helped make them, even though he loves them and cares for them and provides for them, some day, they won’t be so excited to see him come home. And then some day, they just won’t be around to see him come home.
    And that’s the way that things happen when time passes and children get older. But could you imagine, the creator of the world, making a whole world full of people, and when He came to them to bring them true Light, they refused to recognize that He was their creator.
    That is what John says happened. John says at the beginning of His gospel that the word of God, the word that spoke all the world into being, became flesh and came to live here among us. And we can read through other passages in John and in the other gospels, and throughout the rest of the Bible that tell us that the person John is talking about, the word of God made flesh, the true Light, is Christ Jesus.
    Christ was there when the world was created. Christ was the creator. And He came in the form of a baby boy on what we celebrate as Christmas, over 2,000 years ago, so He could bring us true Light. So we wouldn’t have to feel lost, so we wouldn’t have to feel like we are useless and don’t have a purpose. Christ Jesus came to give us life, true life…and the world rejected Him. We rejected Him.
    But, there’s more.
    John says, “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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
    All is not lost. If we want the true Light, if we want enlightenment, if we want to become children of God, if we want hope, if we want peace, if we want joy, if we want love, if want truth, if we want a purpose, if we want life as we were created to live it, all we have to do is believe in the name of Christ.
    What does that mean? Well, that’s simple, too. It means that we believe Christ is the Son of God, sent to save us from our sins. It means that we believe we are sinners. And it means that we believe that Christ forgave our sins when He died on the cross. We believe He saves us, and so He does.

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