Jan. 5, 2020 – Second Sunday in Christmas

Text: John 1:1-18. Read it here.

The Work of Christmas starts now!

I wasn’t looking forward to taking a trip to Minneapolis, Minn., in December. But the visit offered a surprise: Sunshine and the energy one feels on a sunny day. We are people who need light and seek light.

Darkness in the world comes in many shapes: War, illness, unemployment, hate, terrorism — the list goes on. Whatever darkness exists int he world, we bring it into the church. Darkness even is in and among us. We fall short. At times, we don’t trust God. In the face of darkness, we seek light.

We’ve recently had power shut-offs. It turns out, we have many forms of light! In the darkness, we get out a flashlight or light a candle. I’m amazed at what a simple night light can do to light up a dark room. We talk about light at the end of the tunnel.

But usually, we don’t know how long the tunnel is. As long as we see that light, we have hope. We know the darkness can be overcome. Light exposes the darkness and offers the hope of change. It supports courage. Light brings us together.

Wise men followed a light into the unknown. By following that light, they discovered the Great Light. On the second Sunday in Christmas, we think about following Jesus as the Light of the World, the hope for all humanity. John says Jesus is the light for all people. The darkness, he promises, will not overcome it. Jesus offers God’s grace and manifests God’s love.

The baptismal candle that stands at the entrance to the Sanctuary, by the baptismal font, symbolizes the light of Christ. Through our baptism, we become vessels for Christ’s light today, now.

Let your light shine in the darkness!

How do we let out light shine in the world? We can forgive each other and seek reconciliation. By feeding the hungry, we tell the story of Jesus. We can work for peace and racial healing. All of us can encourage and strive for civil discourse as we talk things out.

The work of Christmas now begins. Our work is to bring peace and make music in the heart. And we remember: Nothing – nothing! – can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ.