Christmas

Light in the Darkness: A Series for Advent Part Three – Starlight

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

I have never been a stargazer, at least not in the sense that some are. I have known people who will brave any kind of weather and stay up all night to watch for the appearance of some unique star.

But, while I admire their beauty and am amazed at their nearly incomprehensible qualities, stars have never been my hobby—to say nothing of my passion. Suffice it to say, I would need another lifetime, and greatly increased interest, to become any kind of an expert on the stars.

It is necessary, however, that we recognize the importance that the Bible places upon the stars. The description of their very creation demonstrated the vital role that they would play all throughout history (Gen. 1:14). Stars were at the center of the episode that once and forever demonstrated the significance of the covenant that God made with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-6). This same event bears a critical role in our understanding of the central Biblical concept of justification by faith (Rom. 4:1-25).

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Light in the Darkness: A Series for Advent Part Two – Shadows

Read Part 1.

As the darkness gives way to the daylight, we notice long shadows—perhaps moving directly upon us.

Shadows have the capacity to unnerve—even frighten us. Sometimes the shadows may be mistaken for something real. At other times, something real may be hiding in the shadows.

Shadows make us uncomfortable. They represent incompleteness and uncertainty—”variation or shadow of turning” (Js. 1:17).

Shadows create a sense of darkness. In reality, however, the shadows prove the existence of the light—although it is hidden from view.

As the Old Testament saints looked ahead toward the ineffable brilliance of their Messiah’s first coming, they saw enormous signs between it and them, casting shadows back upon them.

There were gigantic figures like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel. These men, and others who followed their examples, pointed—albeit in a very finite and limited way—to the coming of the One that God had promised to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15, the “Seed” of “the woman.”

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What the Name “Jesus” Reveals

"Yeshua means Yahweh saves. That this unique child’s name would be Yahweh saves was understandable for Joseph. Of course, God’s people needed saving — from the Gentiles. From the Romans who ruled over them; from local puppets of Caesar, like Herod and Pilate. . . . Then the bombshell: 'he will save his people from their sins.'" - Mathis via Veith

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Which advent is in view in ‘Joy to the World’?

"Comparing Watts’ hymn with the Psalm on which it is based raises several important clues as to which advent Watts had in view. The Psalm itself does not necessarily give indication as to which advent it presents. Both salvation and judgement did come with Christ’s incarnation, although they will certainly come with finality when He comes again." - BPNews

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