Insight: Christmas Eve Service

I enjoy Christmas Eve services as much as any worship service. It’s been a tradition at my old church to begin at 5 p.m. and then the family can enjoy a great meal together and spend the evening as a family waiting for the celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus on Christmas Day that happened over 2000 years ago.

This year, we’ll be attending a 4 p.m. service. Normally that would still be during the day, but since the sunset is about 3:52 p.m. it will be dark during most of the service. Continue reading

Insights: What is Christmas?

Christmas is the second best holiday, only because Resurrection Sunday is the best! Christmas foreshadows Resurrection Sunday, because without the birth of the humanity of Jesus, there could have been no death of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the human race. That’s why children of every culture welcome Jesus at Christmas time! Continue reading

The Light at Christmas

This is a recent article included for the December, 2012, Grace and Truth Newsletter.  We broke from expositional teaching to celebrate the advent season as many churches do.  Each Sunday, a message was given according to each candle: God’s Hope; God’s Love; God’s Joy; and God’s Peace.  This introduced our congregation to that series.

The Light at Christmas

            As a boy, I remember the Christmas season as having the longest nights and the shortest days outside.  But I also remember Christmas had the brightest lights from all the lights on the house and in the house.  The darker the night, the brighter one light would shine.  I remember going to church and singing “Silent Night” with our candles lit and thinking of how bright the church became even though the lights were off.  It warmed our lives and set the mood to receive Jesus as the Light of the World.

            This year we are going to celebrate Christmas season using the Advent candles.   Each of the candles give a symbolic meaning in the Advent, or arrival (or appearance), of the Lord Jesus Christ.  There are usually five candles.  Three candles are purple, one pink and one white.  What do they signify?

            The first candle is purple and is the Prophecy Candle or Candle of Hope.  The prophets made it clear that Messiah was coming and He was Israel’s hope.  We have hope because Jesus Christ arrives and penetrates the darkness. 

            The second candle is purple and is the Bethlehem Candle or Candle of Love.  Born in the city of Bethlehem is the greatest bundle of love God has ever given.  Jesus Christ, the seed of David, was God’s greatest expression of love to satisfy His own righteous character, so that we  might have the opportunity for eternal life.

            The third candle is often pink as the Shepherd Candle or Candle of Joy.  When the angels appeared to the shepherds they rushed to find the Babe and spread the good news of great joy.

            The fourth candle is purple and is the Angel Candle or Candle of Peace.  As the angels praised God before the shepherds they said, ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!  Man could not create peace with God by anything he could become or do.  He could only accept what God had done for him.  Do you have peace with God?

            The fifth candle is white and is the Christ Candle.  The white reminds us that Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God sent to remove the penalty for our sins.  We will light this candle on Christmas Eve as the children and youth have a special presentation and drama to welcome in Christmas.

            What does the darkness mean or do to you?  What does the light of a candle mean to you?  Do you know the Light of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ? 

This Christmas season we celebrate the Lord Jesus in His arrival into the world of darkness, so that we might have Light within ourselves, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Seek the Lord Jesus and the Light of life will become real to you.  Trust in Jesus Christ and the Light will become part of your life.  Join us during this Advent Season as we celebrate the Light of the World!