Jan. 3, 2010
Second Sunday after Christmas

John 1:1-18
I love sunrises. They are glorious reminders that God has given each of us a new beginning with potential, possibility and a positive future. We never can undo the
previous day’s blunders, mistakes, or sins. So God has given us the beauty of the sunrise for us to begin with optimism in Him.

Zig Ziglar says he is such an optimist he would go after Moby Dick in a rowboat and take the tartar sauce with him.

The Book of John states that God has sent the Word to us in Jesus. In Him is the originator of good news about what life can be if we accept it on His terms.

I. The Beginning of Life is in the Word
(John 1:1-5)

Have you ever tried to give directions to someone who speaks another language? It can be very frustrating for both parties. In an episode of “I Love Lucy,” Lucy tells Ricky she won’t let him talk to the baby until little Ricky is 25 because big Ricky will have the poor kid confused with his mixed up Spanish and English.

The apostle John was having a rough time communicating to his readers just who Jesus is to them. He bridges the Greek and Jewish worlds with his concept
of “The Word.” In essence, John tells them that if they want to see the Word of God…see the creative power of God…experience the holiness of God…then look to Jesus. In Him the Word of God begins.

II. The Beginning of Life Is in Radiant Light
(John 1:4-9)
Jesus is the brilliance of the light of God. John’s audience is acquainted with the religion of Zoroastrianism. The followers of this dualistic religion believed there were two opposing powers of the universe, the god of light (Ahriman) and the god of darkness (Ormuzo); the universe was their battle ground in this eternal, cosmic conflict.

John understands the eternal cosmic conflict is occurring. The Creator God, the Father of humankind has sent His eternal Son into the world to be the light that
shines through the darkness.

When darkness dominates our lives, we stumble and fall because we cannot see the truth, understand love, experience hope or openly share with others; but when we ask Christ into our lives, accept His forgiveness and experience His redemption, the light rushes into our lackluster life and transforms it! We can walk confidently into any shadow of life because the light will dispel the shadow.

III. The Beginning of Life Is in Faith
(John 1:7-18)

When the light comes, our job is to follow. We believe God will forgive us and instill the light in our hearts, taking away the darkness.

I read a brief story about hymn writer William Cowper. He wrote about the God who moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform: He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.

Cowper’s songs were not written in a vacuum—his life was haunted by problems. On one occasion he decided to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge.
When he got to the bridge, it was crowded with people milling around talking and laughing. Dejectedly, he walked home.

He decided to attempt it again—at home this time. Going to the attic, he took a piece of rope and tied it to a beam, put the rope around his neck, climbed onto a
chair, then kicked the chair away—only to have the rope break! He failed again.

Again he tried to take his own life. This time he entered his study and took down an old sword hanging on the wall. He held it to his chest and fell on it. One
would think this would have killed him; but no, the point nicked his rib and broke off! Again he survived.

Later in the evening he wrote in his diary, “I was suddenly overwhelmed by God’s presence and love. I fell on my knees and cried out, ‘Oh Lord, be merciful
to me, a sinner. Save my immortal soul.'” He related that he felt a surge of new life and hope as his faith soared to God. He said he was a new person! Cowper’s life—just like our lives—begins in faith in the living God through Christ!

Come to the light of a new year—and face it with the light of Christ!

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