Jesus came into the darkness. And He didn’t come as a king or warrior or prince. He didn’t come to the big city, the palaces, or the triumphal places. No!  He comes to the forgotten places. He comes to the abandoned places. He shines His light into the darkest and most forgotten places.  It is here His light shines brightly and unashamedly. This unwed mother bears a son in an animal’s feed trough.  The only people invited to His first birthday party were Shepherds.  They were the worthless, abandoned, hopeless people in society.  A shepherd was not qualified to testify in a court of law – that’s how shunned they were.  But Angels announce into the darkness of the fields to shepherds…“God is here.”  The light has come.   And though the society says, “Power, Money, Status” are the things that make a difference.  Christmas says that power, money, status and influence can never fix the darkness of the world. The only thing that can really fix the world is the light was humble, poor, broke, and yet… Jesus’s feeding trough and old rugged cross is more famous that Pharaoh’s cities, treasures, and king’s palaces. There is Glory of Cheering in the Highest knowing the Hero has arrived.

Isaiah, who wrote this book, notes that people look to the earth and see trouble and darkness.  They look at the problems and can’t find a solution. Their solutions don’t work and drive them into darkness.  This has been true historically. The Greeks thought we could solve the problems of the world with education and wisdom. They thought the mind and intellect would produce a “profound and great theory” and rescue us all from our darkness.   The Hebrews thought we could fix our issues with religion and politics.   They weren’t waiting for education and elites to solve it. In Jesus’s time, they believed in politics, and leaders who they hoped could rally the forces, set the vision, and fix what was broken.   The people who Isaiah was writing to tried to look within themselves for hope and strength. They consulted their horoscopes through mediums and spiritualists to find their God of consciousness.   If you read Op-Ed’s about how to fix our country, our economy, and other problems, you basically have the same 5 “solutions” that haven’t worked but have been regurgitated over and over again the past 5,000+ years pretty soon, you become aware that we are surrounded my darkness.  We need to be rescued from our world and ourselves.

The Message of Christmas says that a light has come into the dark place. There is a God. That God came into this world. He promised that He will fix the darkness. He will make all things right. He will reward you for right doing. He will judge the wrong doers. A Christian sees the hope of Christmas says, “This life is NOT all there is.  No matter what I lose in this life, my real treasures are safe with God.   No matter how uncertain the economy seems, I put my trust in someone who is bigger and unchanging. I rest knowing that the one things that really matters.  I can also know that the darkness will eventually be conquered by the light.  The Prince of Peace. The Mighty God. Emmanuel will come to fix everything one day.

When you watch a movie for the second or third time, do you get as scared or nervous?   No.  Why? You know what will happen.  When the hero is backed into a corner.  When there seems to be no way out.  When the bad guys seem to be getting away with it.  You know what will happen.  As strong as the bad guys are…their evil and power will only show us just how gallant your hero is. In fact, the more evil the bad guys are and the more dire the circumstances are, the more you jump up from your seat in gratitude when he comes to save the day. When  our hero beats back the foes that no one else could beat.  This is true with Christmas.   We are living in the middle of the story.   But Christmas offers us a peak at the final chapter.   Christmas offers us a chance to stand to our feet and shout when the baby returns as the king….  He defeats death, cancer, evil, pain… All the problems of life… His life pierces the darkness.



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