Monday, January 16, 2017

Isaiah 9:1-4 Letting Christ-Light Shine in Darkness

KEY TEXT: Isaiah 9:2-3 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.

KEY THOT: Christ is the "great light" that brings life, growth and joy in the nation that has received his light. This light brings a spiritual harvest of souls and also destroys the devil's works by "dividing the plunder" of his "goods" (lost souls). And now Christ dwells in the church by His Spirit. It is no longer the physical Christ who is the light but the church His Body who is now the light shining in the darkness: "You (plural) are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5:14-16). The church is a "city set on a hill (that) cannot be hidden". 

We are called to let this light dispel the darkness of death and depression from people who are walking in darkness. The church can only fulfill its calling as the city of light if it opens its doors to people who are still living in darkness to come and experience this light. 

As churches in Singapore prepare for another season of Alpha starting in February, we rejoice that the light of Christ will be made manifest in various locations where those who dwell in darkness are invited to enjoy and experience the light of the corporate Christ, the Church: "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12).

Alpha gatherings are often joyful evangelistic events as they are hosted by enthusiastic and joyful helpers. The light that the guests see and experience is not just in the talks but in the faces and friendships of the church helpers as they serve, sing and laugh with joy unspeakable, and just having fun. That is what is attractive to non-believers--this quality of joy in contrast to their world where depression and death characterize those still walking in darkness.

When believers in the local church come together for the sole purpose of letting "your light shine before others", it is the "fifth Gospel"--not written in a book, but incarnated in their smiles, their service, their stories, friendship and joy. Everyone can "share" the light of the Gospel--not just the speakers. But together with the Word heard in the power of the Spirit via the talks, the conversations and testimonies, many start to experience the life-transforming power of God's presence long before they even make a formal profession of faith. Such is the power of light in darkness-it brings life and growth to a people who have up to then only known darkness.

May this CNY season of the rooster be a prosperous one in terms of the harvest of souls as Alpha churches launch their Alpha in the Intro Dinner events. To God be the glory! Great things will He do again for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ!

Father, thank You for the light of Christ that dwells in Your church, the Body of Christ. May we let our corporate light shine among people who walk in darkness in this new season of Alpha. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your comments.