Part 3 of the post-Easter series, "Cristo Vive" (Christ Lives). The people of Nehemiah's day weren't too different than those who heard Peter preach on the day of Pentecost. The Word of God they heard caused sorrow in their hearts. But the good news of God's promised restoration was ultimately a reason to rejoice. Is this how we experience our Christianity? Particularly the truth that Christ is risen? Does it ultimately spark joy in our lives? Despite the fact that there is still darkness in the world, outside us and within, God commands that we take ownership of our restoration in him by confessing, as an act of faith sometimes, the joy and celebration of our new life in Christ. We should be people of joy and should celebrate here on earth as reflection of the eternal celebration that awaits us.
(Note: We're taking a break from the "Belonging to Him" series for the holiday season and will pick back up with Part 2 on January 17th. This week, you’ll be hearing the final sermon John shared from a 4-part Christmas series while pastoring a church in the country of Honduras.) One of the best ways to describe the birth of Christ is with the phrase, "But...God." It goes like this: the world was sinking deep in sin, but God entered into our world, became one of us, and joined us in our weakness and suffering so we could join him in eternal strength and joy. The light shines in the darkness and, because of the coming of Christ, the darkness will never overcome.