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The Light of the World

Divine service theme for the month of December: "The light of the world"

 

This year’s Advent season is captioned by the theme “The light of the world”, which alludes to and highlights various facets of one of the Son of God’s distinctive “I am” statements.

The first Sunday of Advent, which marks the start of the new church year, takes us back into one of the darkest phases the people of the old covenant ever experienced, namely their return from Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem, which had been reduced to ruins. Here God encourages His people to get to work, and promises a new time of glory through the words of the prophet. In the divine service, this is applied to the splendor of the new time period that dawned after the sacrifice of Christ, which brought the light of grace and forgiveness to sinners.

The second Sunday of Advent focuses on God’s will and truth. Jesus Christ, the light, reveals the divine will to save, and makes it possible for sinners to pursue the path to salvation and the kingdom of God.

Advent is also a time of remembrance and expectation. This is illustrated by the remarks pertaining to the third Sunday of December. The conduct of Simeon and Anna is to encourage us to likewise conduct ourselves in a manner that strengthens our faith, as well as our fellowship with God and our neighbor: our Advent is to be a time of action, not an exercise in biding our time.

The article for the last Sunday of Advent is to inspire us to praise God, give thanks to Him, and act in a manner pleasing to God, while always keeping an eye out for the well-being of our neighbor. It also makes clear what things separate us from God, and how Jesus Christ seeks to lead us human beings—who are mired in sin—back into eternal fellowship with God in His light and through His power.

Redeemed through the sacrifice of Christ and filled with the truth that Christ teaches us, we can give thanks to God by serving Him in love. This is the message for Christmas 2019. Without fear we bear witness of the bright light of the gospel in both word and deed.

At the close of the year, we once again focus on the motto of the year and praise God for the wealth He has granted us. We trust in Him—He desires our salvation and will also accompany us with His blessing in the year ahead.

More in this category: « The Return of Christ

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  • Jesus the light creates clarity | Week of December 9th
    John 3:19-21, And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds…
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