“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Mark 8:29
The Sunday school children were making their annual presentation of the Christmas story. Parents were proud. Grandparents were sentimental as they reminisced about Christmases past. All had gone well until … (there is always an “until” in a children’s Christmas presentation). All had gone well until they reached that time to show the holiness of the newborn Savior.
Mary and Joseph looked suitably significant. The shepherds had hit their marks and were on their knees in a position of worship. At the right moment, the student who controlled the lights was to throw all the switches but one—that single switch controlled a small light bulb placed in the manger. The light from that single source would be most impressive for the folks watching … at least, that’s what was supposed to happen.
Unfortunately, the boy who was to turn off all the lights but one got rattled. He hit all the switches. The congregation, thrown into pitch-blackness, sat in stunned silence. That’s when one of the shepherds, a third-grader, said in a whisper that carried through the entire church, “Hey! You switched off Jesus!”
For that boy, “switching off Jesus’’ was an accident. In Jesus’ day there were many people who “switched off the light” Jesus wished to give them. They couldn’t give a correct answer to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?” Today there are also those who willfully turn off the light the Savior brings. In their ignorance, they deliberately deny and disregard the Lord Jesus who has come so they might have joy and peace. They keep the light turned off. They cannot say, “You are my Savior and my Lord.”
It is the Lord’s wish and will that you walk in the light of the Savior. If Jesus had been born one thousand times in Bethlehem, yet has never been born in your heart, then you will, on Judgment Day, still be lost. That would be a terrible and unnecessary tragedy—unnecessary because Jesus came into this world to save you from such a sorry ending. Jesus was born so that you might live in the light and not grope in the darkness of sin and Satan. So you could be in the light, Jesus spent His entire life doing what you could not. So that you could say, “Jesus, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” is why He came, lived, and died. Walk in His light.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on October 5, 2003
The Prayer: Dear Lord, You are the light of my life. Fill me with Your light, so that I may go forth and tell others about Your grace and mercy without burning out. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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