Christ | Advent 2020
“Is all creation groaning? It is . . .
Is a new creation coming? It is . . .
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? It is . . .
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? It is . . . ” 1
Creation was groaning.
The times were dark. The air, thick with oppression, permeated the first-century world through political domination. God’s beloved, chosen people struggled under overbearing regulations, taxation and other burdens imposed by Roman law.
In spite of struggle, financial strain, an unknown future, they still celebrated weddings, birthed babies, cared for their sick, buried loved ones . . . lived their lives wherever they dwelt. And God’s people gathered as they could to worship, seeking every possible way of encouraging one another in troubled times.
Why had God not raised up a prophet, as He had done before, for these distressing times? About four hundred years had passed since a prophet shared a message from God. How their hearts hungered for God’s message, a message that would assure them He heard them, saw their pain and captivity, a message that promised He would rescue them once again. They wept and prayed for His Messiah to appear.
Bethlehem, the City of David, swelled with travelers who came to register for the census. Families filled every possible corner of their homes with extended family and guests. Mary and Joseph found a place where the animals were sheltered. While staying in their makeshift dwelling, Mary gave birth to the Son of God, tenderly swaddled Him, arranging a manger as His first bed.
How like our God to ordain His Son’s birth in a humble, unthinkable environment among animals, while angels heralded the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah! The news rang out across the starry sky to a group of disregarded, ordinary people—shepherds.
While the world slumbered, the Light of the World pierced the crushing darkness.
“Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, ESV).
The world may be dark and groaning, but new creation is coming! The Lord Jesus still pierces through all darkness—the darkness of a lost world, the darkness of sickness and fear, every form of darkness you may face today.
May the Light of the World shine brighter in your world this Christmas, with every twinkling Christmas light heralding the good news, “Jesus—born in Bethlehem—is still the Light of the World!”
1 Written by: Andrew Peterson, Ben Shive
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