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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9)
As we reflect on Christmas, the question that I want us to focus on is this – How will they know?
Jesus was born over 2000 years ago, and his dramatic entrance into humanity was seen as a great light. And such it was. The gospels record countless people who were touched by his presence and bear testimony to this incredible light. Jesus illuminated people through his presence and power. Indeed, he declared “I am the light of the world”.
However, since that was 2000 years ago, the question must be asked, “How will people come to know the light of Jesus – today?”
The apostle Paul answers this question in his letters. He tells us that it is up to you and I, who follow Christ, to be a living witness to that light. Look at what he says in one of his passages
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky (Philippians 2:14-15 NIV)
We, the church, are called to be lights, shining in this generation. The answer to, “How will the world know Jesus?”, is simply by the brightness and splendor of his followers.
Paul tells us that our conduct needs to be of a certain kind if we are to shine for Christ. Have you ever thought that arguing and complaining diminishes your witness? It’s true, no matter how right you are about how roughly you have been treated.
Notice when Jesus was in his toughest hour, he didn’t argue, nor complain. Instead he kept silent and only spoke a few words. Why? Because he knew that he was the light of the world, and being the light meant he was to shine. And shine he did. Such that his tormentors were amazed by the fact that he was silent despite much opposition.
And why do our deeds make us shine? We shine because God’s ways (in us) are a contrast to the natural man’s way. His ways are glaringly different from the way the world acts, and they truly shine.
This Christmas, I want to invite you to be part of the story of Christmas and to be a light, like Christ is the light. Let the light of Christ shine in your heart as you acknowledge him and spend time with him. The more you spend time with him, the more you will shine, shedding of the ways of darkness, and becoming a light for your friends and family.
As you meet family, entertain guests, or simply go about your regular schedule, do not argue or complain but rather bear the brunt of the situation, knowing that God vindicates and will have the last word.
– Pastor Olu Jegede