Light up your Christmas
Christmas Messages
December 20, 2013
Light up your Christmas

Fri Dec 20, 2013



St Vincent and the Grenadines District


People live under different conditions in different places in the world. Some places are hot, some are cold. Some places are mountainous, some are flat. Some are rich countries, some are poor countries. Some are experiencing war, some countries are experiencing peace.{{more}}

Now, if you could choose any place in the world to live, where wouldn’t you live?

The Gospel writer, Matthew, quoting prophet Isaiah (Isa. 9:1, 2), seems to describe another living condition of man:

“Land of Zebulun, and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people living in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matt. 4: 15, 16).

Isaiah gives a succinct description of man as living in darkness, under the shadow of death. To better understand the prophet’s message, let me provide the historical background of around 730 B.C. Galilee and surrounds were located in the north of Israel. These lands were allotted to tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali was in the northern extremes of Israelite territory. And these were the parts of Israel that were most vulnerable to foreign invasion.

The foreign super power of that day was Assyria and they were not pleasant to the inhabitants of this area. Today, we are familiar with refugees fleeing oppressive regimes, fleeing the shadow of death. These Galileans did not flee. These were forcibly removed.

In our text, Jesus is referred to as “a great light”. Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that the darkness and gloom are not permanent, that light will take the place of darkness. The metaphor of darkness in Scripture is used to illustrate lack of divine revelation (Mic. 3: 6-7); sin (Eph. 5:8-12) and punishment (Matt. 8:11-12). As light, Jesus stands as remedy to these three problems.

Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus brings light wherever He goes. He chases away darkness wherever He goes. Matthew and Isaiah say Jesus’ presence means “great light”.

This actually means that those living without Christ are in darkness. Not only are they in darkness, but they are living in the shadow of death. That is the condition of Zebulun and Naphtali, of St Vincent and the Grenadines, if they are without Christ.

How sad that many have chosen to dwell in darkness even when the light has come!

Light came to Zebulun and Naphtali when Jesus called their people to repent. Likewise the light comes to individuals, homes and communities when those living in darkness would repent and live in the light of Christ.

Where do you want to live? In the land of the shadow of death, or in the Light of Christ?

The Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies, St Vincent and the Grenadines District, wishes one and all a blessed and Christ filled Christmas.

Bishop Sonny E. Williams, Presiding Bishop