On March 13th, 1997 at around 9 PM I looked to the south and saw what I thought was a long line of planes on final approach to Sky Harbor airport. It was a curious sight but I didn’t think much more about it until I watched the 10 PM news. Our local news affiliates showed video and reported that thousands of Phoenix residents reported seeing those strange lights linger in the sky and many asked if we had been visited from someone or something not of this earth! The story went viral and the next day the national news outlets lead story was “The Phoenix Lights”. While I still don’t know what those lights were (and don’t really suspect an alien encounter), I do know they stirred up a buzz that has been talked about and wondered about ever since! That’s because nothing attracts our attention as much as a bright light!
Sometime around 6 BC a Light from another world appeared in Bethlehem and changed everything! The apostle John (1:1-12) described the birth of Jesus as the arrival of a bright light that would overcome the deep darkness of our world. Two thousand years later we are (and should be) still talking about “The Light of the world”. Why did John, Jesus and others identify Jesus as the “Light of the world”? What impact does His Light have on our life? Join us this Sunday (12/24) as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and answer these timeless and important questions. This year we will be offering three amazing Christmas Eve candle-lighting services at 9:00 AM, 10:45 AM and 5:00 PM that will once again be family friendly. In addition to our time in God’s Word we will have a special kid’s story and gift, and will be experiencing the best Christmas worship in Arizona as by popular demand, our friend James Colter will be back with us to sing “Oh Holy Night” which I guarantee will rock you!
Okay, I’d better let you go as I need to start my Christmas shopping in another day or two. I can’t wait to go “Out of the Box” with you as we celebrate the one true “Light of the World” on our way to the best Christmas ever. As 2017 winds down I want to thank you for joining me on this journey with Jesus. It is such a blessing to be your pastor and friend and I can’t wait to see what God has for us in 2018. May God grant you and your crew a very merry and blessed Christmas.
Sure Do Love You,
P.S. Christmas crowds are so fun but sometimes can create a parking problem. If you can’t find a parking place, there is usually remote parking available at the school to our south.
Some Of This Coming Week’s Scripture Passages: (Your One-A-Day Vitamin)
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:6-12 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 3:19-21 Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Isaiah 9:6-7a For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.
2 Timothy 1:9-10 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.