Light in the Darkness: The ancient story of Christmas

Are you ready? It begins with four words. Do you know them? I have a feeling they speak to that deepest hunger inside of you. Are you ready?…

Deep space background with nebulae

by Peter White

On November 29, the Regeneration worship community of First United Methodist Church kicked off the season of Advent by telling God’s great story in song and a dramatic reading. From now until early January—through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany—we’ll be posting that reading in seven sections.

Read the Series Introduction.

Here is part one.

Would you like to hear the old, old story of the power of death undone by an infant born of glory? Do you want to hear the story of a great God, crazy enough to move right into our neighborhoods? So head over heels, consumed with love for us that he stepped out of the beauty of heaven into the ugliness of planet earth to rescue us and put everything right?

Are you ready? It begins with four words. Do you know them? I have a feeling they speak to that deepest hunger inside of you. Are you ready?

Let. There. Be. Light.

In the beginning. Into to the deep, into the darkness, into the void, into the primordial chaos, God, who probably had a twinkle in his eye and a trick up his sleeve, says the four words that change the world:

Let. There. Be. Light.

And there it was. A sun in the noon-day sky. And there they were. A million pins of light, stars in the night sky, each one them the sun in its own solar system.

And there they are. Ocean trenches and mountain peaks. Jungle rainforests and golden deserts. And there they are. Humpback whales and hummingbirds, clown fish and bald eagles. And there they are giraffes and penguins, fat tabby cats and a hippopotamus, just because.

And there they are. There. They. Are. The man and the woman. The prince and the princess. Made from the same stuff as the soil, the very stuff that gives life to everything. Made in the image of the Almighty. Made to create in the endless playground of God’s good world. Made to rule and to reign in justice and righteousness. God’s beautiful people in God’s beautiful world. Perfect Image-Bearers in God’s perfect world.

And there it is. The great Sabbath. The great shalom. The great rest that’s not the rejuvenation for the next thing but the rest that is the very end. The great sigh of the artist who steps back after the final stroke and says, “Oh, that’s good.” Everything in its right place. Peace flowing like a river. Life abundant everywhere. Everything that is deep goodness—joy, love, truth, faithfulness, generosity, gratitude, community, contentment, beauty. And then God the Creator, now God the King over everything, I imagine God kicks up his feet and gives a great big belly laugh.

Give yourself five minutes to stop and breathe. Use this song as your background music.

Join us at First Methodist Tulsa during the Advent season, listen to Dr. Wade Paschal’s Advent sermons here and learn more about worship opportunities during December.

Peter White is both a Tulsa native and transplant, having moved away for 9 years and returning 6 years ago. He probably spends too much money supporting the downtown food economy. When not eating within the IDL with his wife, he can be found watching Netflix, whining about the Seattle Mariners’ pitiful offense, reading a theology book, keeping his toddlers from stealing each others’ goldfish crackers, or being a minister of First Methodist. He can be followed on Twitter @thatpeterwhite.


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