The Bible, in the book of Isaiah Chapter 9, gives a prophecy of the first Christmas.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as a people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. Isaiah 9:2-3
I have watched an incredible Christmas celebration every year since I have been a pastor. People facing death become more fully alive every day of this season as they see a great light. They are the fortunate ones because they alone really acknowledge the truth that “all of our days are numbered and we are all destined for eternity.” Their witness increases tenfold and no bad news can eclipse their light because the very presence of the Savior is the source of their light.
This Sunday is going to be a very special Sunday as we kick off our Christmas campaign to bring joy and light to this world through the wondrous message of Jesus Christ. I have a very special illustration which expresses our church’s mission to try to build the greatest caring network the world has ever seen. Our Music Pastor, Rhonda Jones, wrote a beautiful love song for my recent book Ulysses Dream. This Sunday the song will be performed by Keaton Markey and Noe Phillips with the choir backing them up.
Ulysses Dream captures the story of God’s grace working in the life of a girl living in the city dump of Honduras. She enters an adventure to become a citizen of the United States and falls in love with a First Nations warrior named Ulysses. He becomes her champion until she discovers the hero inside of her because of her relationship with Jesus Christ. The book Ulysses Dream will be available for sale (hopefully to be purchased above peoples tithes and offerings), and all money from the sale of the book will be given to retire the remaining debt that our church needs to resolve before launching our next big dream. The book will also become available in an audio version through Amazon, Apple, and others by December 14th. The audio version is read by renowned Spanish actress Yareli Arzimendi who has starred in, produced, and directed many movies and television shows. We will listen to a two-minute clip from this captivating recording.
My text will be Isaiah 9 which will announce a bold new moment in our lives:
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord almighty will accomplish this.
Every day is a new beginning and every morning is the whole world made new. Just as described in 2 Corinthians 5:17.
This weekend will be a historic service – one that will never be forgotten. Maybe the most moving worship in the history of Washington Cathedral. Don’t miss it.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White