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The Properties of Light

We need to pierce the darkness with the light of Christmas.


At this time of year, many of us find our mailboxes filled with cards, most of them photo cards. Those photo cards are the results of a well-orchestrated family endeavors to have everyone looking straight at the camera while smiling and capturing just the right angle of the Christmas tree. Rarely do pictures capture the bedlam that surrounds most of those photographic moments. For most of us, the moments before the perfect picture include a dog that darts off, a baby that crawls away, a toddler that refuses to look at the camera, or perhaps grandpa making an inappropriate joke that catches everyone laughing or squirming. The pre-teen is likely utterly bored and eager to find out who just texted, and the entire photographic endeavor is fraught with tension and chaos.

The awkward photos that arrive in our mail are my favorites. The families that seem to have given up and captured reality instead of a canned moment make me smile for days. There are websites completely dedicated to showcasing awkward family photos. I scrolled through one of those sites and found a family lined up trying to jump at the same time but one of the kids apparently refused to jump on cue and pulled the whole family down.

Some good friends in our congregation had an awesome photo this year. In the chaos of their picture was a toddler, beet red from screaming, and a newborn hollering. Both parents were trying to keep their girls upright and in the picture, but were giving in to the madness, smirking and shrugging their shoulders as the picture was snapped. In that photo I also saw something amazing. This past year, while pregnant with that screaming baby, the mom discovered that she had an aggressive form of cancer. When she went for treatment ...

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Tracey Bianchi is the Worship & Teaching Pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook, Illinois. She's also a freelance writer and speaker (traceybianchi.com).

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Sermon Outline:


I. The first Christmas chaos

II. The common problem of darkness

III. Christmas brings us the peace and light of Jesus

IV. Looking for the light

V. Light wins (darkness does not have the last word)