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Advent and Christmas Celebration

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 7, December 31


Mark Armstrong

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[7th Day of Christmas:  Nathan Harris]

The Light Has Come

John 8:12 (NKJV) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

It happened when I was only 12 years old. I was a paperboy who won a subscription sales contest-a trip to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Wow, three days and nights without mom, dad, brothers or sister to bother me. Fantastic!

Upon arrival the park ranger sat us all down for an orientation. The ranger warned us not to go out on the trails after dark. "It's too dangerous," he said.

We went on a trail to the cave. Then we took a boat ride through part of the cave having to carry the boat over certain spots. We ate supper around a campfire before heading to bed for the night.

I was awakened around 2:00am by a beautiful full moon that sent light into my cabin room. I disregarded the park ranger's warning and slipped quietly out onto one of the trails. It was a cool evening just right for hiking on a trail. The moonlight assured my safety, I reasoned, as I hiked deeper and deeper into the woods. I was having so much fun I didn't notice that the trees were forming a canopy that light couldn't penetrate. Nor did I see the clouds that would soon conceal the full moon.

Before I knew it I was surrounded by darkness. The trail that only moments earlier seemed so wide had vanished. I panicked! Wiping tears from my eyes I began running desperately in an attempt to find the trail and my way back to safety. The harder I ran the more lost I became. It was hopeless!

But then I noticed a glimmer of light in the distance. I also heard a faint voice calling out, "Mark! Mark! Where are you?" Running as hard as I could towards the light I called back, "Here! I'm over here!"

Realizing how adventurous 12 year old boys are, the park ranger had done a bed check at 2:30am. When I wasn't found in bed a search party was organized and sent out. Soon I was united with my savior, the park ranger. When I was returned to my cabin I never ventured back out onto the trail.

God did a bed check on His creation. He found people lost in the darkness of sin. The situation seemed hopeless. So God sent out a search party. Jesus came to rescue us from the darkness! The light of the world came. The first of the coming light was called the Star of Bethlehem. It came on that first Christmas so long ago. It's light signaled the coming of a greater light, Jesus. The light has come. He has saved us from the darkness. Now He calls upon all Christians to shine the light of their faith into the darkness of the world so the lost can find their way back to God.

Thank you Lord for rescuing us. Thank you for being our Savior. Thank you for allowing us to light the way for others.

~ Mark S. Armstrong
Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA

Daily Scripture Readings*
[Psalms 46, 48] [1 Kings 3:5-14] [James 4:13-17; 5:7-11] [John 5:1-15]

Lord Jesus,

Your beloved disciple calls you the Light of the World. Even with all the storms of doubt and fear You are still the one who gives us the ability to find our way. And, not only back to You, but You show us the paths that our efforts should follow each day. We need You. We've tried living without You and we confess that it did not work. Help us to remember that, and to always ask for Your guidance. A new year is about to begin. Remind us to carry our Light!


*These readings are adapted from the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, Year 2.  For Year 1 readings, see Daily Readings, Christmas 1.

Music provided by Don and Carla's Christmas Midi Files.
Background provided by The Bud.
  Graphics for the Twelve Days of Christmas by Detroit News.
The Animations were designed by Nathan Harris. These are used with permission.

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