Today we continue our season of Advent, which is the season of preparation for Christmas. Our theme this year is “The Rescue.” Although the light of Christ is shining in the world today, the world is still a very dark place and will get darker according to the Bible as we near the end of the age. But, it’s at the height of the darkness, when we the people of God most need rescuing, that Jesus Christ will come again and rescue us.
The Christ Candle, the Candle of Hope, and the Candle of Peace have already been lit. Today we light the Candle of Joy and take our Scripture from 1 Corinthians 15:19-26:
19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Today we light the CANDLE OF JOY. Every one of us has had the heartbreak and grief of standing around a casket occupied by the body of somebody that we love. Through our federal head and first father Adam came death through sin, and so every person connected to Adam will die. Death seeks to steal not only our life, but also our joy. Who will rescue us from death?
Beloved, God through Jesus Christ has a marvelous plan to rescue us from death by giving us life everlasting and along with everlasting life, joy everlasting. Through Jesus, the dead are resurrected unto life. Every person connected to Jesus by faith shall be made alive forevermore when Jesus comes again to rescue us, literally bringing Heaven to Earth. At Jesus’ Second Coming, He will destroy the last enemy, which is death. Then there will be no more tears. No more pain. No more grief. Life will know no end, and joy will know end.
Joy to the World! The Lord has come! And joy to the world! The Lord is coming again to rescue us. And so we light the Candle of Joy this morning and say to you, “Merry Christmas!” and “Maranatha!” “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”