Light & Peace: Break Forth – December 11, 2022

Text: Isaiah 35:1-10

Christmas is almost here. And it is like no other. It is said to be the most wonderful time of the year. So, I and Leah decided to take it to another level. We bought our Christmas Tree back in October and don’t ask if it is made of plastic or real.
We’ve been to several stores hunting for more decorations and it has been fun. And we are not yet done.

I know this might sound like a tradition to many of you but to us this is a new experience, a new adventure. And this is why? In Kenya where we grew up. Christmas decoration and gifting isn’t quite a tradition but a time for traveling to meet families and eating holiday or festive meals. Having that time to chat with friends and families you haven’t seen for months.

I don’t know about you but we are loving the Christmas spirit and energy here in Omaha. One can feel this energy literally everywhere. Streets are full of decorations and twinkle, twinkly white or colored lights. Even trees are decorated. Who does that! The decorations are literally everywhere in stores, here at the church, on rooftops, on the yards, patio, in living rooms, cars, in the basement and you can name them.

Lights are blending very well with the Christmas carols that fill the air from the radio stations, and Christmas themed movies are out and streaming.

It is the month and time of the year everyone is expected to be at their best. People are expected to be more friendly, generous and kind to one another. And yes, there is a need for more kindness even as this cold winter begins to kick in, snow blankets everything, and the day-light gets even shorter. Even as we anticipate the coming of Christ.

I love how Noel Regney put it in a song – Do You Hear What I Hear?
A spoil alert – I love this Christmas carol. I have sung it several times but hardly get to sing the correct lyrics. I usually wait for the last stanza or the repeat and sing out loud. Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear? And then I mumble; a child is born…mhhhh! Tututu!
However, this week I got a breakthrough with this song, when I was writing this sermon. I had the opportunity to look at the lyrics, sing along and I was moved.
I was like What a piece!
Let me share lyrics with you:
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
do you see what I see x2
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
do you see what I see x2
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite x2
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
do you hear what I hear x2
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
do you hear what I hear x2
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea x2
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
do you know what I know
In your palace warm, mighty king,
do you know what I know
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold x2
Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light x2

This carol is a sure reminder and a call to action to me and you of this advent season. A time to feel nature as the season changes, see the wonder in the sky and on our streets, listen to the cry of the forgotten and to be the voice of the voiceless. Pray, pray without ceasing for the peace, pray for the people everywhere and let the light and peace of Christ dwell among us.

I get very fascinated with lights. And I have come to appreciate it even more while here in the US. Growing up in Equatorial Kenya where the day and night are equal (the sun rises at 6am and sets down at 6pm no matter the month or the time of the year), no winter nor snow or freezing weather.

Christmas lights and generally light does affect our mood and attitude. Light has been associated with improved mood, with an enhancement of morale, lower fatigue, and reduced eye strain.

In Colombia where there has been armed conflicts for years the Operation CHRISTMAS, launched in December 2010, involved decorating jungle trees with holiday lights and banners.
According to USA Today News, “this prompted a 30% increase in insurgents putting down their weapons. Trees, some 75 feet tall, were decorated with thousands of blue lights tripped by a motion sensor. When guerrillas walked past, they unwittingly illuminated banners.” IF CHRISTMAS CAN COME TO THE JUNGLE, YOU CAN COME HOME. DEMOBILIZE. AT CHRISTMAS EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”

The light and peace is indeed breaking forth even today and it’s upon you and me to locate where that light is striking from. Just like kiddos this morning, for them to see clear and better images on the reels they had to turn to the light- the source of light.
This Advent season is like no other; full of reels of the people who need that smile, a gesture of care, love and belonging. It might not be easy for us to pay attention to those who need the most and this is why we need to turn to the source of light who is Jesus Christ. Who is more than able to help us to love better, to self-care better, to care better for our families and friends.

Let these advent seasons reels be a learning moment to be faithful to God to serve selfless and to champion justice and mercy in our society. Let the light shine in our hearts, in our cities, and in our world.

May the light and peace breakforth in our lives. So that our eyes might be open for a second to see everything that we keep on missing all those people in need of a simple act of kindness.

I marveled by the kindness of the Magi from the East who had so much compassion for baby Jesus so fragile, laying in the manger, homeless. It didn’t matter to them where the light would lead them. Their eyes were open and nothing could stop them, not King Herod, popularity, economic status, social power, nothing could stop them from blessing this vulnerable child.

Let us admit that we are all in various stages even during this advent season. Some of us might be going through different circumstances; hardship, financially, relationships, discouragement, and much more.

Yes, we might feel exhausted to maintain the energy of this season of advent but today’s scripture reminds us of God’s love and faithfulness. Prophet Isaiah reminds us of the power of God to transform our circumstances for better.

The text mentioned that the desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom….Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

The light and peace that Isaiah saw and proclaimed.
Is the light and peace that transformed the Son of God into a helpless vulnerable baby.
It’s the light, peace and understanding that we can only experience once Christ reveals to us.
May we during this advent season have courage and strength to face even those broken reels in our relationships, places of work, schools with love and compassion.

May this little light our heart continue burning throughout this advent season and continue burning all the days of our lives. Amen!

Copyright © 2023 | My Music Band by Catch Themes