“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
“From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” – John 1:1-5, 16-18
This Week’s Scripture References: Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2; John 1
According to the calendar we are in the season of Lent. Scriptures relating to the birth of Christ are not often part of a typical journey through Lent. But this is no ordinary journey, is it? The season of Lent is a time for us to focus on ways we can grow closer to God and to consider ways we can learn to be more like Jesus. Lent is a journey for examining our questions, our beliefs and our actions.
What do we believe? What are the questions that fuel our faith journey? What do our actions say about our beliefs?
Lent is also a time to remember why God gave the world a special gift, Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16
And so during this second week of Lent we remember that the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace was born in a lowly stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Jesus, the one who saves the world, was born not to live as a king, but to serve, to seek out the oppressed, to love and to give himself up for the sake of others.
What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
During Lent we remember that Jesus came to die for our sins, so that we would be forgiven. We remember that Jesus was born for the cross.
Through Jesus, we come to know who God is. And we recognize that we are called to join him in solidarity with the poor, the lost, the broken, the hurting because this is who God is.
“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” – John 1:4-5
During Lent, we also remember that the cross is not the end of the story. We remember that Jesus came to bring light into a dark and desolate world. Jesus was born to be our hope!
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned. A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:2,6
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
During Lent we remember that Jesus was born King of Kings, not just for the manger, but for the cross, so that through Jesus we might all come to know God and experience the power of God’s love and grace. And we remember that the Light that came from the beginning is the Light of Life made known through each of us. We are able to see Christ in one another and help each other see Christ in ourselves and in the world.
In what ways do you see Christ at work in the world?
In remembering the birth of Christ, we experience hope. We are reminded that God is with us! We are reminded that God refuses to remain distant; refuses to allow us to remain broken. We are reminded that God has stepped into the darkness of our world and provided a way for us.
“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.” – John 1:4
We are also reminded that Christ invites us into the work of building God’s Kingdom. we are reminded that we are called to join him in the work of healing, forgiving, and loving. We are reminded that we are called to be Light in the world! Because the Light of Christ shines in each of us we are able to see Christ in the world and share the Light of Christ with others.
Where do you see Christ in the world?
How is Jesus calling you? How is Jesus inviting you to join him in the work of healing, forgiving, and loving? How is Jesus calling you to shine for Him? How is Jesus calling you to share the Light with others?
Gracious and Loving God, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus! Help us to remember that you sent Jesus into the world so that we would no longer walk in darkness. Help us to shine our light for you so that others will know that the Light of Life has come to be a beacon of hope in our dark and hurting world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
To listen to this week’s sermon, The Birth of the King, Sermon 1/6 in “Walk” The Story Mini-Series, click here!
For Family Devotions related to this week’s message, click here!
For more information and additional resources for The Story at Faith UMC, click here!