In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:26-33
Every year, as I was going to college and then seminary, I loved Christmas break. When that last final was taken and the sometimes month long break at Christmas began, it was such a refreshing time of year. Yes, I had to work but I had more free time than at any other time of the year. Jackie and I were just nuts about being in the “Christmas Spirit.” It was a time for long detailed research, prayer, and Bible study to take place. It was a time of refreshing the vision that God had given us as teenagers to someday build Washington Cathedral. And even though that was many years ago, it has always remained that kind of time. As we started the church and began to raise a family, Christmas quickly moved from the slowest time of year to the busiest time of year. But despite the busyness, it remained inspiring and refreshing because it was a season of vision.
What a metaphor for “Light the Night.” The darkest time of year is the greatest time of vision. Isn’t that just like God? And it is true of all life -- the darkest, hardest crucibles of life are always the times when we dream the most beautiful dreams. Dreams that will revolutionize our lives and our world. The Christmas story is a season of vision. Mary has a vision, Joseph has a vision, Elizabeth has a vision, Zechariah has a vision, and almost everyone else involved in Christmas has a vision.
Let me ask you a question as I prepare my message for this weekend on “The Vision of Christmas.” How much would it be worth to you to receive a vision for the rest of your life from God? I mean his plan, his purpose, his innovations for you and your family. Join us this weekend I promise you – your vision will be refreshed.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White