Donnels Creek Church of the Brethren
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Hobert’s Homily: "Light is needed!"
"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned," Matthew 4:16.

If you're planning a Christmas trip to Troms0, Norway, you will not need sunglasses.
Between November and January the sun is never seen there. This town, which sits on an island about the size of Manhattan, is the second most populated place north of the Arctic Circle. Every fall, its 70,000 residents face the prospect of spending these months of the winter in perpetual polar night.

I would find it difficult to live where the sun never rises, would you? In a spiritual sense, that's where most people are living now. This world is spiritually dark, and its inhabitants are blinded to the truth. Every morning they awaken to darkness, failing to recognize Jesus who said: "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12).

We have what the world needs - the light of the world, Jesus Christ. May it be that our character, conduct and conversation reflects Him. The Bible says, "Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:14-15). May the lights of the Christmas season point us to Jesus and His call on our lives.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth," (John 1:14).

It's wonderful to gather with our loved ones for Christmas, but the real meaning of Christmas meant Jesus said, "Goodbye".  When Jesus came to earth, He cast a parting glance at the glories of heaven and left home, traveling here to live with men.  In John's Gospel, Jesus reminded His listeners that He had come down from heaven.  He told Nicodemus, "[I] came down from heaven" (John 3:13). He told His disciples, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

Perhaps you will be away from some of those you love this Christmas.  You're reading this devotion with some sadness in your soul, trying not to feel homesick as you remember past holidays with their sights, sounds, and smells.  You may be a missionary, unable to return home for Christmas.  Like Jesus, you've left home to give the world the Gospel. Remember Jesus was away from home at Christmas too.  He understands and loves you wherever you are in the world.  Let's follow in His steps and be on mission for Him.