Filed under: Sermons, Uncategorized | Tags: Christmas, grief during the holidays, John 1:1-5, Longest Night
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
With these words John announces what Jesus has done for you. Jesus has entered this world- this human life- with all its dark days, to bring you life and light.
We’ve come together at the peak of the longest hours of darkness. We’ve come to acknowledge that sometimes in this season of joy, we experience sadness, grief, pain, and regret.
Whether those feelings of darkness last for a moment or a longer season, they can make us feel disconnected- out of sync- with the world around us. Everyone else seems joyfully distracted with holiday plans and drenched in joy- busy with loved ones. Some of us feel alone, or sad, afraid, or overwhelmed. We feel like the world has dimmed into darkness.
Tonight, you are welcome here- welcome to bring your feelings, your memories, your hopes, your self.
Jesus comes to enter the darkness. Jesus is not only present in the joy of life, but also is with you in the difficult times. Jesus came just for those who are stuck in darkness.
Jesus enters the darkness- to change it.
Jesus brings the unfailing light of God. This light may seem to us the slightest glimmer or a warming spark. It is the breath of hope, the fragile possibility that all will be well. Maybe in this life, and certainly in the life to come.
Jesus entered the darkest spots of the human condition. He was rejected by his friends and his people, he was killed in ridicule and buried into death. Jesus goes ahead of you into darkness, so that you would never be alone, even in your darkest days.
Jesus is the light and life of God. This light and life could not be destroyed by the power of death. Jesus rose from the dead. He broke the power of darkness to hold us forever.
Jesus gives this light and life of God to you, and to all the world.
Tonight, you are invited to meet this giver of life and light. Jesus has come to be present with you, to speak words of comfort and promise, to place his Holy Spirit within you, to wash you with the water of new birth, and to feed you with his very life, his body and blood. Whether or not you leave your seat to participate in prayer and communion, if you lift your voice in song or if you remain quiet, if you feel the power of the light or if you continue to feel dimmed in darkness, Jesus’ promise to you is certain and true. Jesus loves you. Jesus will never leave you. Jesus places his life and light inside you, and the darkness will not overcome it.
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