Midweek Message

Jesus the Light of the World – LABC Update 12/15/2023

Carolyn Matthews

December 15, 2023

Jesus the Light of the World

 

 “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16, NASB)

 

Of all the blessings and gifts from God, music is one that can be shared by all of us. The experience of listening to and hearing the notes and chords, and responding to the lyric of vocal music. The writer of the letter to the church at Colossae acknowledges that music can also be used for teaching and counseling. How many songs do you know that are based on biblical texts  (think of the whole of Handel’s Messiah or the Sunday School song, “Behold what Manner of Love” – 1 John 3:1)?

 

We find ourselves a little over a week before Christmas day. And although we are in the season of Advent, many of us have been enjoying the music of Christmas – secular and religious. One of the songs that has been playing in my head these days is the opening theme from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

“Christmas time is here/Happiness and cheer/Fun for all that children call/Their favorite time of year.” There are so many beautiful music compositions and singing in choirs affords me the privilege of learning new songs.

 

With all the joy the season holds, there are those of us who are remembering loved ones passed on. It can be especially disheartening when the loss is a part of the Advent/Christmas season. How does one reconcile the loss with the “joy” of the season? This may be one of those times when our perspective or vision is best directed outside of ourselves.

 

Advent is the time of waiting for the fulfillment of a promise. This promise was made by God for all of humankind. “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them… For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;/ And the government will]rest on His shoulders;/ And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, /Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6 NASB).   In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 NIV) If we find ourselves in what might be a dark place, the scripture informs us that Jesus is the light that the darkness cannot overcome, comprehend, or master.

 

Well, it is one thing to say it, quite another to believe and live it. Yet in these verses there is the hope of seeing the “Light.” There is hope of being able to grieve, remember, and appreciate that in the midst of the festivities, there is the presence of God and a caring church family.  Yes, Christmas time is here, but when all of the outward trappings of the season are taken away – the trees, decorations, presents – we may focus on the fulfilled promise, the Child we celebrate on Christmas, the Light that shines in darkness and brings comfort.

 

So let us be especially kind to one another, look out for one another, and remember to love as Jesus loved.

 

Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

 

Upcoming Events

 

The Gift of Music

Speaking of gifts, our children will be sharing the gift of music with us this coming Sunday, December 17, in worship during the children’s time. Many thanks to Ms. Yvonne, the children, and the parents for making this gift to the congregation possible.

 

Cole Stanford in Concert

Our newest musician, Cole Stanford will be in concert at Lakeshore tomorrow, Saturday, December 16,  at 6:00 pm. Cole will be playing and singing Christmas favorites by Brahms, Debussy, Messiaen, and others. We look forward to a wonderful evening of music.

 

Weekly Meetings

Saturday, December 16 (ZOOM)

10:00 AM – Time for Prayer

The group continues with song and scripture in preparation for a time of prayer.

 

Sunday, December 17

10:00 AM – Worship (special music presentation by our children in worship)

11:45 AM – Adult Bible Study

After Worship – Hunger Task Force Gift Wrapping

 

Tuesday, December 19

6:00 PM – Bible Study (ZOOM)

7:05 PM – Church Council (ZOOM)

 

Wednesday, December 20

10:30 AM – Prayer and Bible Study (ZOOM)

 

Thursday, December 21

10:00 AM – Christmas gift delivery. Please contact Sheila Sims if you are available to drive.