As I mentioned in my message on Sunday,
November 28th, we were going on a trip. We knew where the trip was going to take us, and that was to the manger in Bethlehem, for Jesus’ birth. Boy, how fast the trip has been. We have talked about the hope found in Christ. We have talked about the peace He can give to us. We have talked about the joy He can bring into our lives. We also talked about how much He loves us. And now, this Friday, our trip will be complete. This Friday, at our Christmas Eve service, we will light the one candle that is not about preparation for the trip, but it is about the arrival. I hope you will join us for our Christmas Eve service as we light the Christ candle. But what exactly is the significance and importance of the “candle in the middle?” What does the Christ candle mean for you and me?
There are two things we can think about as we look at the Christ candle. The first thing we can think about is how Jesus Christ is the light of the world. The Christ candle is the candle that represents the fact that Christ has been born. He has come into the world and He has brought the light. John 1:9 says “the true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Another thing we can focus on is the fact that Jesus is also the central part of our lives. Think about our advent wreath we have been focusing on over the past few weeks by lighting the different candles. Hope, peace, joy and love are great things to have as a part of our lives. However, if we do not center our lives around Jesus Christ, it is going to be very difficult to experience those things.
The opposite of hope is hopelessness. The opposite of peace is chaos. The opposite of joy is discontentment. The opposite of love is hatred. If any of these are found in our lives, then our focus is probably not centered on Christ. We can find ourselves centering on any number of things, other than Christ. The closer we get to Christmas the busier things seem to get. Even our worship services get busier as we prepare for special worship opportunities. If we are not careful, we will put all of our focus on the events, and we will forget to center our thoughts on Christ.
A 16 year old girl named Haley shared how she keeps her thoughts centered on Christ at Christmas: “Each morning in December, I say a prayer and ask the Lord to help me feel the spirit of Christmas and find a way to serve someone that day….this helps me keep Christ in Christmas because I am acting more like Him.” Sounds like a good piece of advice for all of us during this busy time. Until next week…
Peace and Blessings….