The Longest Night – Thursday, December 21, 2017

December 21, 2017  

Isaiah 9:2-7

It never ceases to amaze me that we, as Christians, chose to pin our hopes on a newborn child.

Babies are so fragile. They are so weak. They are physically powerless. They are defenseless. Babies are completely dependent on others for their survival.

And yet we, as Christians, found hope and promise and joy and strength in the birth of a tiny baby boy. In Bethlehem. In a manger. When there was no room in the inn.

Turn on the radio right now and you will hear Christmas hymns playing.

Drive down the street (or walk) after worship tonight and you will see Christmas lights on houses, breaking through the night sky with color and brightness.

Go to the store and you will find people shopping for gifts to give. Go to the grocery store and you will see shelf after shelf of Christmas candy, Christmas cookies, cranberries and pumpkin pie filling and frozen turkeys and ham. It all screams out to us—Christmas! Celebration! Joy!

If you aren’t feeling the brightness, aren’t wanting to celebrate, aren’t thinking this is a joyful time for you… what do you do? How do the lights and songs and celebrations make you feel?

Tonight is the longest night. It the time of the least daylight. There are long shadows.

If you find yourself living in the shadows, or walking through the valley of the shadow, tonight might (finally) be a night where you find yourself to be most comfortable.

Or it is horrible.

What the night brings might be unpredictable for you, this year. As it might have been last year, and the year before.

We choose the longest night for a service of healing because we trust; that baby born in a manger in Bethlehem has the power to heal the world. That baby brought light into the world. A light no darkness can overcome. That baby, Jesus, is our Sovereign Ruler. Our Savior. Our God.

And he brings peace.

Jesus promises us peace.

The world cannot bring us peace. Jesus can.

Jesus, our light.

Jesus, our hope.

Jesus, our healer.

Jesus, who lives in our hearts each and every moment.

Jesus is with us.

Now and always.

Amen.