Have you ever been on the road and looking for a place to stay and the only motel in town has a “NO Vacancy” sign lit up out the front? Maybe, it’s not so hard for us to imagine Mary and Joseph fronting up to the innkeeper, only to be told there’s no rooms left in the inn.
It’s the most famous verse in the Bible – John 3:16. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him anyone can have a whole and lasting life“ (The Message).
John 3:16 explains the reason for Christmas; it explains the Bible in a sentence – the greatest love, the greatest sacrifice, the greatest offer and the greatest gift.
The reason we celebrate Christmas and give gifts at Christmas is because “God so loved the world that he gave.”
Much of our lives are built on earning & deserving - e.g. earning a wage or deserving respect and admiration. Jesus destroys all of that in the story of the Prodigal Son by giving the Prodigal Son what he hasn't earnt and doesn't deserve. Join Brodie this Sunday as he unpacks Luke 15.
Around the world, wherever Christmas is celebrated, lights are often part of decorations in our homes and on streets and in shops. Sometimes the “light shows” are spectacular.
“Light” is, of course, a common theme in the Bible. The first particular act of God’s creation is “let there be light”. Jesus describes himself as the “light of the world”. And light plays a part in the Christmas story – the “glory of the Lord” shining around shepherds and “wise men” following stars.
The gospel writer John says of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, “… his life is the light, that shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it”.
I pray over the next few weeks, that knowing Jesus (God’s Christmas gift to you), will light up your life.