Need Some Extra Light?
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” – John 8:12
My wife and I love the Christmas season. The clear cold nights seem to accent the moon and stars. There is a radiance and brilliance in the midnight sky that we don’t see on those warm summer evenings. As we look over the vast Northern Idaho prairie to see the variety of Christmas lights, we are impressed with the many lit trees, houses, clock towers, church steeples, and manger scenes.
As breathtaking as it is to see the brilliant stars on a crisp night, or the many lights covering the landscape, nothing compares with the light Christ casts into the darkness of our sinful world. When God looked into the darkness of man’s soul he realized that a special kind of light was needed. His son coming to earth as the God-man would remind mankind how far we strayed from the warmth of our Creator’s light. His ultimate love and compassion for sinful man came in the form of a babe in the manger.
The Word (Light) was made into flesh. And unto us a child was given… The Psalmist tells us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105. He is our hope and our salvation!
The following true story, submitted by Pastor Rob Reid, testifies that God is still in the miracle business. He shows His love and light in so many ways. We only have to pay attention.
The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry—reopening a church in suburban Brooklyn—arrived in early October, excited about their opportunities. Their church was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18th they were ahead of schedule—just about finished.
On December 19th a terrible tempest—a driving rainstorm—hit the area and lasted for two days.
On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus…she missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.
Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet… “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman. She had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. She explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison, and she never saw her husband or her home again.
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home—that was the least he could do… She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.
The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war…how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.
The tearful pastor asked the man if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.
He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door, and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.”
What looked to be a disaster was really God’s grace! In a dark world, the miraculous love of Jesus shines through like no other light. In fact, He shines brightest in our darkest moments! Let His light flood over you.
The Power of Truth:
“Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” Isa. 2:5
“He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.” John 1:7
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Eph. 5:8
Suggestion for Prayer:
Pray for those who do not know or have not received the light that a relationship with Christ can bring.