Text: Joh 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Caligula – who was assassinated by his Roman guard.
Nero – who killed his own mother, and probably burned Rome to get rid of shacks that blocked his palace entrance.
2. 70 AD a huge Roman army conquered Jerusalem. Their commander was Titus, the son of the Emperor, who killed one million residents, and took another 97 000 captive as slaves.
3. 79 AD: Mount Vesuvius explodes, completely destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the deaths of at least 20 000 people.
4. 89 AD : Titus the Emperor dies, and his brother Domitian begins a reign of terror.
And so the World is in Chaos:
Ø Corrupt Emperors who reign by terror
Ø Jerusalem is gone – no place to worship
Ø And the Christians are thought to be remnants of the rebellion in Jerusalem.
A very gloomy Christmas gathering of Christians: Their teacher gets them together and says to them: let me remind us about Jesus:Their teacher’s name is John.And John says that Jesus came for a time such as this: Jesus comes to bring light into darkness.
Gen 1:2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep
This appeals to the fear that Jewish people had of water. When the world began it was wild and chaotic – and then God stepped in! The breath of God moved over the face of the waters and brought order from chaos.
God said “Let there be light …. And there was light”
God said “Let there be dry land … and there was dry land”
God said “Let there be plants, and animals, and people … and they came into being”
Let us hear the invitation: to discover the links with our own lives.
We also can be overwhelmed by the darkness:
· Internationally: Children killed at a preschool in USA /
· We still have corruption: Emperors / businesses / officials.
· We have death on our roads: Since 1 December an average of 34 people a day have died on our roads.
Ø Illness has struck you down – and this Christmas feels dark
Ø The year ended badly and you feel like 2013 is dark?
Ø My personal darkness: my youngest daughter is not here for Christmas: Amy is working in Japan – and a bit of light is missing for Christmas.
We have darkness around us the question arises: “Who will speak the Word of God?”
And my question is:
Or you can speak of the light. Tell stories of how Jesus has helped you through this past year;
So am offering you a reminder – a candle. (Stewards to hand out candles)