Episode 1
4 December 2023

The Light | The Light

Let Your Light Shine: Pastor Tony on Jesus as the Light of the World

This Advent season, Pastor Tony kicked off a new sermon series called “The Light.”

Tony set the stage by explaining that Advent is the season leading up to Christmas when we spiritually prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ coming. It’s filled with joyful anticipation both of Christ’s first arrival as a baby, and his future second coming as king.

To illustrate our deep need for light, Pastor Tony told a story from his youth about getting into a car accident on a snowy night. When his headlights went out, he was terrified, thinking he might have died and gone to the afterlife! The immense relief when he got the lights working again highlighted our primal human fear of the dark.

Psychologists confirm this – we’re conditioned by society to associate darkness with danger and evil. Stories, movies, and books portray bad things happening at night. Pastor Tony affirmed this duality traces back to the creation story itself. Genesis 1 opens with the earth in chaos – formless, empty, and shrouded in darkness. God’s first recorded action was creating light, pushing back the darkness.

With light came order, structure, and purpose. God separated light from darkness, establishing clear boundaries between two realms – light representing God’s presence and life, dark representing his absence and futility. We see this duality continue throughout scripture. The prophet Daniel praised God for illuminating what is hidden in darkness. The psalmist described God clothing himself in light, the two are so intertwined.

By contrast, passages in Job and Ezekiel associate dark with disaster, wickedness, and punishment. Biblical authors consistently use light to symbolize God’s presence and order, while darkness conveys his absence and chaos.

When Jesus proclaimed “I am the light of the world,” he was tapping into this rich biblical imagery. Jesus claimed that if people follow him, he will pierce the darkness in their lives – because God’s presence dispels darkness. The prophets Isaiah, Daniel and others spoke of this, envisioning a day when God’s glory would rise like the sun and overcome night.

Revelation gives a beautiful promise that for those who follow God, there will come a day with no more night, no need for lamps, because God himself will be their light. Darkness will be no more.

In closing, Pastor Tony encouraged us to embrace Jesus’ light this Christmas season. We all have areas of darkness – whether secret sins, rocky relationships, or addictions. But if we walk with Christ, the true light, he will illuminate and transform those areas. No matter how hopeless things seem, Jesus’ light is greater. As the Bible says, light always wins in the end.

I’m grateful for this timely reminder that God’s presence brings light and hope into our lives. My takeaway is to open my heart to Jesus this Advent. He alone can dispel the darkness within. As we anticipate celebrating Christ’s birth at Christmas, may we also seek more of God’s presence, so his light shines through us to others in need.

Here are 4 questions to ponder regarding Jesus as the light of the world:

  1. What areas of darkness am I still clinging to instead of bringing into the light of Christ?

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

  1. Do my daily actions reflect Christ’s light living within me? How can I shine brighter?

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

  1. How can I be a light to others who are going through seasons of darkness right now?

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

  1. Do I fully believe that Jesus’ light is more powerful than any darkness? How can I grow in trusting his power?

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9)

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