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"Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me."
- Luke 24:44
We end our year-long study of the book of Luke with a look at Holy Week, when all the prophecy, all of Jesus' warnings, and all of God's plans for salvation are fulfilled.
Devotion by Kurt Alexander
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows — light! sunbursts of light!” —Isaiah 9:2
In this passage, Isaiah will soon tell us about Jesus; but first, Isaiah tells us about us. He paints the perfect picture of that brilliant moment when our world collides with God’s wonder; our darkness is pierced by His light. He didn’t come to people who were already spit-shined and shimmering. He came to those who were buried in darkness, desperate for help, and longing for hope.
Have you been living in the land of deep shadows? I have. I’ve spent long years in that gray and weary country, and sometimes it makes me feel disqualified from the gift of Christmas.
The cards we send or receive usually don’t have much to say or show about the darkness. They sparkle and shimmer. Most Christmas carols do not talk about daunting shadows or dreary days. They talk ho-ho-hoing and mistletoeing, and all of that is fine and fun if you’re having a great year. But let’s be honest about the fact that this HYPED-UP commercialized happiness is not really what lives at the heart of Christmas.
The Light of Christmas is deeper than that. It reaches into darker places.
Jesus didn’t come to cheer us up; He came into the shadowlands we call home, to set us free. He came to untangle us from the despair that wraps itself around our joy and peace and purpose. Jesus sets us free from the penalty of sin and death; He sets us free from the power of sin over us if we follow His leading, and one day, Jesus will return and set us free from the presence of sin, FOREVER!
So it seems, then, that hopelessness is the very first qualification for receiving the bright hope of Christmas. Maybe you are exactly where you need to be this year to experience the miracle of Christmas after all.
-Inspired by an excerpt of a book titled When Holidays Hurt by Bo Stern.
The Pathway provides a follower of Jesus with the knowledge, relationships, equipping, and opportunities to Discover, Decide, Grow, and Go! The Adult Discipleship Ministry at LCC is ready to guide and assist followers of Jesus in each step of the Pathway as they grow in Christ-like character and determine to invest his/her life in the mission of the Kingdom. And it's all digital now, so you can do it from the comfort of your own home and let us know when you're ready to connect. Click here to read more about it.