Jesus, light of the world

Earlier today on Bellshill Salvation Army Band’s Facebook page I shared some devotions. I’d like to share those devotions with you tonight.

The word ‘advent’ in Latin means ‘coming’, and so the advent season is when we look forward to celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world.

You may have seen many churches light an advent candle on each of the four Sundays of advent, and a central fifth candle on Christmas Day. Worship during advent is almost like a round up of all things that Christmas represents to Christians, with the candles representing the light of God coming to earth as the Christ-child, to fill the world with hope, peace, joy and love.

For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.

John 3:16 (The Passion Translation)

For me, the above words from John 3:16 sum up the gifts that Jesus brings us – hope, peace, joy and love. Without God sending His Son to earth on that first Christmas morning, would we ever have the reassurance that we can experience everlasting life?

Christmas is not about what gifts we receive, or the gifts we give to others, it’s about God’s coming to earth when Jesus was born. It’s about celebrating the love that Jesus showed the world, the hope and joy that He brought, and the peace that we can experience when we accept His love for us.

God giving his Son to the world is why we celebrate Christmas, it’s how the world came to understand what true love was all about.

For all who wait
For all who hunger
For all who've prayed
For all who wonder
Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

Here’s a poem by Christina Rossetti that I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, but words which fit perfectly with my thoughts today.

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

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