Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is John 8:12, where the Bible says,
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."


A blessed Christmas Day and Season to you all. I’m so very glad that NOTHING in this world can ultimately prevent the message of the good news of our Savior from being proclaimed year in and year out. Jesus reminds us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). That same Jesus tells us today that He, and He alone, is THE light of the world. Dear Jesus, shine brightly into our hearts, and into our world!

In our culture, I’m thankful that the whole Advent/Christmas time is still a time for lights, aren’t you? That’s one thing that hasn’t been cancelled yet. People still string up their houses, bushes, and trees. They fill the neighborhood with light virtually every night from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Yvette, Devin, and I especially enjoy driving around neighborhoods with a cup of hot cider enjoying the lights. One of my favorite pictures is when the lights are beaming with a muffled glow, piercing even the snow cover of a winter storm. Lights shining in the darkness, lights overcoming snow cover, light’s power piercing through the storm -- all of that shows light’s power to bless.

Jesus reminds us today that He doesn’t just “represent” light in our lives. He IS the light of the world for all who live in darkness. He shines to expose our need for Him (piercing through the world’s ultimate darkness), but, more importantly, He shines to provide a way home, and to invite us HOME with Him. He’s the light of the world, the light that overcomes the darkness and CALLS US HOME TO GOD IN HIM. THAT’S HIS AUDACIOUS CLAIM -- HE IS THE REAL LIGHT OF THIS WORLD.

Yet Jesus’ claim is more than calling you to come to God. More importantly than that, He’s telling you that He Himself is God COMING TO AND FOR YOU. So many get caught up in the beautiful reality of the baby Jesus and the godly family of Mary and Joseph that they miss the mission of “the light of the world.” When Jesus was presented at the temple shortly after his birth, a man named Simeon gathered baby Jesus in his arms (see Luke 2:25-35). He proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (2:32). Then Simeon added these words to Mary, Jesus’ mother:

Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed (Luke 2:34b-35).

Revealing light and saving light show us THE light of the world at work in our world. Oh, don’t miss His light this Christmas. See Him as He really is because Jesus is the only light that shines “for you” for the things that really matter, both now and forever. No political light, no relationship light, no economic light, no identity light, nor any “stature in community” light can shine like His light for your life and salvation.

Natural light is a pretty amazing thing. In a time of “manufactured light,” we often take natural light for granted. Natural light reveals the world to us. Body and soul crave it. Light sets our biological clocks. It triggers in our brains the sensations of color. Light feeds us, supplying the energy for plants to grow. It inspires us with special effects like rainbows and sunsets. Light gives us life-changing tools, from incandescent bulbs to lasers and fiber optics. Scientists don’t fully understand what light is or what it can do. They just know that it IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE AND THAT IT will illuminate our future.

ALL OF THAT PROVIDES JUST A GLIMPSE OF WHO JESUS IS FOR YOU! He declares, “I am the light of the world,” and He shines forth to give you the light of eternal life.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, may this Christmas Season open up my heart to see my need for You. Then grant me faith to trust in You as the light of my life now and forever. AMEN


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