Preparing for Worship // December 24, 2017

Preparing for Worship // December 24, 2017

(Email subscribers: Click the title above to view the Spotify playlist)

Darkness is uniquely terrifying. A horror movie that would be laughable in the light of day leaves us shaking after the sun sets. At night our imaginations come alive, turning every hooting owl and creaking branch into a ghost or ghoul out for blood. Even the real cares of life such as a fractured relationship or tension at work have the tendency to blow up in our minds as day turns to night. Darkness often brings with it terror and hopelessness. 

The hopelessness of darkness is the background for one of the most well-known and well-loved Christmas passages. Isaiah 9:1-7 is well-known for its beautiful description of the light that Christ brings, but what we often miss is the prior setting. Isaiah 8:21-22 gives one of the most potent descriptions of despair in all of Scripture: “They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God. And they will turn their faces upward, and they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.” This section can be summed up in a single word: despair.

And in the midst of this despair, the light of Christ shines forth. John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Because the good news of the gospel begins with this darkness, it is able to speak into the darkness and gloom of our lives. Jesus doesn’t wait until the sun is shining on our lives; He Himself brings the light to shine into the darkness of our circumstances, our relationships, and our own sinful souls. At Christmas, we celebrate the light of Christ entering into the darkness of our lives, so as we come to worship this Sunday and as we celebrate Christmas with our families, let us remember that without Christ we would be lost in darkness and despair, with no hope in this world. But because of Christ, we can have joy in this world and hope for the world to come.

THE WORD

Scripture: 1 John 4:10
Sermon: Christmas – Proof That God Loves Us

SONGS

Joy To the World
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Love Divine (Charles Wesley; Tune: Come Thou Long)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Away In A Manger
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Traditional)
listen | chords lyrics/info purchase

Song of Preparation: Love Came Down at Christmas (Holy City Hymns)
listen | chords | lyrics/info | purchase

Song of Response: Thou Who Wast Rich (Ordinary Time)
listen | chords lyrics/info | purchase

 

Speak Your Mind

*