Monday, November 29, 2021

           We now find ourselves in the early days of the Advent season—a season of anticipation and waiting as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  Advent also reminds us that He will come again—ushering history to a close and ushering in a new age under His reign.  Just a few days ago, we were giving thanks and naming the gifts or blessings of the Lord.  Now our gratitude turns toward anticipation as we look to the coming of Christ with expectant eyes of faith.  We often read the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament during these Advent days to help us remember God’s fulfillment of His promises in Bethlehem’s stable long ago.  One such prophecy comes from Isaiah 9.  In Isaiah 9:2 we read, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 
            Jesus is the Light of the world.  As such, He has come to dispel darkness wherever it may be found.  Some people might suggest we are living in dark times and days now as we struggle with so many divisions and so much discord.  We encounter a lot of anger today fueled by fears, paranoia, anxiousness and worry.  It is good for us to remember that Christ is our light.  Just as a lighthouse illuminates dark waters to help a ship find safe harbor, Christ is our light in those dark times of trial, murkiness, fear and dread.  We have clarity with and in Him. 
            The Advent season is about welcoming the light of Christ into our lives and seeing life from His perspective—trading fears for faith, trials for trust and anxiousness for divine contentment.  Paul remarked to the Philippians that he had learned the secret to contentment in practically any situation.  And that secret was His relationship with Jesus.  Faith is not something that we entertain on the margins of life—a go to place when all else seems to fail.  Faith is how we live.  It is a mainstream value that ought to be a part of our daily walk with Him.  Romans 1:17 teaches us that “the righteous will live by faith.”  Faith is the manner by which we are to live.  It is not an afterthought.  It is our primary response to the challenges of each day.
            Isaiah’s prophecy teaches us a valuable lesson in this Advent season—there is a light that leads us, anchors us, comforts us and consoles us.  This light is Christ Himself.  All of God’s promises are yes in Christ Jesus.  Not a few and not just some.  But all.  We have a little less than four weeks until Christmas Day arrives.  Look for the light of Christ during these days.  Rather than cursing or bemoaning the darkness of life, look for ways that you can be light.  Look for ways that you can bring Christ into a conversation or contentious moment.  For those of us who know Christ in a real, personal and life-changing way, we have a mission to be light wherever we are.  If you find yourself dwelling in darkness or exporting darkness to others or even creating darkness, then you have to wonder whether you have ever met the Lord in the first place.
            Our word for today is Light.  Isaiah promised a great Light hundreds of years before the events of Bethlehem unfolded.  Christ is that Light.  And we are called to walk by that Light.  Be a light today to someone, somewhere who is struggling with and even pushing back against darkness.  Let this divine Light penetrate the corners and crevices of your life where darkness has reigned or is reigning.  This Advent season has a wealth of treasures and blessings awaiting us as we journey through it.  And today’s gift is Light. 
            We invite you to share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  Take time today to sign-up for a place to help at Saturday’s Live Nativity Scene.  You can use this link to do so:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090a4ba5aa2aa7fd0-live.   Remember that we are receiving food donations for our adopted families through December 15th.  A running list of items that we need can be found in Sunday’s worship folder and this link at our website: https://storage.snappages.site/RRXNP9/assets/files/November-28-2021.pdf.
Continue to stay faithful with your tithes and offerings and remember we are receiving contributions throughout December for the Lottie Moon and Global Missions Christmas offerings.  Have a great Monday!
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