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Advent Conspiracy: Christmas Eve

The church is supposed to be beacons of hope and beacons of light.


When I was a teenager, I worked at the mall at a shoe store. And I loved working on Christmas Eve, because as a salesman on commission, I made a ton of money that day. People would come in all day long and buy whatever we had in stock because they were late and desperate. As a new believer I remember thinking, There’s got to be more than this!?

For some of us, Christmas is more of a hassle than a source of joy and happiness. It can bring stress, anxiety, and depression. Christmas for some is endured and not enjoyed. During this Advent series we tried to get back to the basics and remind ourselves why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. We spent each Sunday focused on one of four ways to conspire against all the consumerism at Christmas.

Let me summarize our journey together.

Worship Fully

We encouraged everyone to first: Worship Fully.

The truth is we, all worship something. Christmas is about bowing down to the Christ child and giving him our worship, attention, and focus. In the Christmas story, Mary, the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon, Anna, and others all did this, they all gave Jesus their worship. And when they did that, God began to do his work in them.

Spend Less

The following Sunday we encouraged people to: Spend Less.

Consumerism, debt, and discontentment are some of the great enemies at Christmas. We outlined five ways to practice contentment:

  • Dare to disappoint people
  • Pause in the panic
  • Educate yourself
  • Accept generosity
  • Think a little harder

Spend less except when you should spend more.

Give More

Week three we focused on: Give More.

This Sunday we studied the doctrine of the Incarnation, the truth of God coming in the flesh to be with us. We are to give our all to Jesus because he gave himself for us. God gave us his presence and I encouraged people to give their presence to others as well. It was a challenge to give more time. Time is the most valuable thing you can give anyone.

Love All

And yesterday we looked at the call to: Love All.

God is love. God showed his love in sending his Son, Jesus, to this world. God now calls all his followers to show the world his love. And as we love others, we’ll experience God’s love over and over again. Jesus came to earth to love all.

The Meaning of Light

In a moment we are going to light our candles, and that got me thinking about some of the reasons why we do that.

Lights are symbols of hope. A beacon guides an airplane home in foggy conditions. A lighthouse steers a ship away from the dangerous shoreline. The reflectors on the highway median will guide a driver through wet conditions. Kids, how many of you sleep with a night light? People in darkness are usually always overjoyed to see light.

Jesus came as a light to guide us and take away the darkness. In John 12:46 Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” Jesus came into a spiritually dark world. Just look at what’s going on in our world and anyone can see the darkness. Pandemic, wars, famine, sickness, refugee crisis, and so on. But from the time Jesus was born until the time he died, Jesus, the light, attracted people and their attention.

Jesus drew people out of the darkness constantly. The blind are given sight. The dead are raised to life. The hungry fed. The spiritually thirsty are quenched with Living Water.

Today, where does God display his light? In you!

In John 17:22-23 we find Jesus’ final prayer before he ascended to the Father. Jesus prayed, “I have given them the glory (light) that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Those are powerful words that point to our purpose in life. The church, the people who follow Jesus, are supposed to be beacons of hope and beacons of light.

Here’s the deal, you cannot produce light, you can only reflect it. Sadly, people are turned off by organized religion and repulsed by hypocritical church leaders who say they represent Jesus but are not reflecting his light. Thankfully there is something about Jesus that still captivates people’s attention especially as they take their eyes off fallible people and focus on Jesus. He is an irresistible light.

When the church is doing its job, and lifting-up the name of Jesus, people will always be drawn to him. It’s been that way for hundreds of years

So, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus tomorrow, let’s ask ourselves, “Are we reflecting the light of Jesus in our lives or are we driven more by the darkness?”

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). If you are a follower of Jesus, you are the light of the world. Not, you will be or hopefully you might be. No, you are the light. You are God’s representatives on earth. You are the hands and feet of Jesus in a dark and hurting world.

When we are reflecting the light of Jesus, when he is honored in our lives, people will be drawn to him. We no longer walk in the darkness of fear. Let’s reflect the light of Christ this Christmas to a dark and hurting world.


As we light each candle, we’ll soon see the power of one person showing God’s love and then the power of the entire body of Christ loving Jesus and loving others.

Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

If you’ve ever been in complete darkness, like a cave or the desert at night, it’s a scary place to be. We live in a dark world hardened by sin. That’s why Jesus commanded us to let our light shine in the world for all to see.

Unfortunately, we don’t always shine his light or his love. We do this by not showing people grace, being condemning and mean spirited, being disconnected from our community. By not caring for the lonely, hurting, poor, and oppressed. When we do that, our world becomes even darker.

Sometimes God’s people rise up and shine their light and God’s love in their own lives and in their community. Lives are transformed, communities change for good and the world is made a better place. Raise your candles up high! See how the light transforms the room.

That’s who we want to be as followers of Jesus. We are the light of the world and we need to shine. Jesus said the world will know we are Christians by our love. Let’s remember that this Christmas.

Rob Hall is the Lead Pastor at New North Church, located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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