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A Light Of Revelation


Shortly after His birth Joseph and Mary bundled up the baby Jesus and walked the six miles from Bethlehem to Jerusalem. They took Jesus to Jerusalem “to present Him to the Lord” at the Temple according to Jewish custom. As they entered the Temple they were met by a righteous man
named Simeon. The Lord had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the promised Savior. When he saw Jesus he knew that God’s promise had been fulfilled. As Simeon took the infant Christ up in his arms the Holy Spirit inspired him to prophecy.

Simeon spoke of Jesus as, “...a light for revelation to the Gentiles....” (St. Luke 2:32) When we walk into a dark room the first thing we do is turn on a light. That is what God did when He sent Jesus to earth. Jesus is the Light of the world in several ways.

Jesus is a light revealing God to man. If we want to know what God is like we need look no further than Jesus Christ. St. John wrote, “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (St. John 1:18) Jesus is qualified to reveal God because He is God. “I and the Father are one” he told His disciples. In Jesus we have a revelation of the very nature of God; His love, His justice, His power, and His wisdom.

Jesus not only reveals God to man He is also a light revealing man to himself. We are by nature in the dark, but Jesus uncovers and illuminates our innermost selves. We like to think that we are okay, that we aren’t bad people. But in the searing light of Jesus’ perfect humanity we see how far short we fall. Truly “...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God....” (Ro. 3:23)

If this were all that it meant for Jesus to be a light it would be terrible. The light of Christ not only reveals the perfectness of God and the imperfectness of mankind Jesus also sheds light on God’s plan for our salvation. Simeon said to Mary “...a sword will pierce through your own soul also....” (St. Lk. 2:35) The reference was to Christ’s ill treatment and death on the cross which Mary was destined to witness. As tragic as it would seem to be, in actuality the cross was the means of our salvation. As St. Paul put it, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Col. 1:19,20)

The light has come into the darkness in the person of Jesus Christ and we must respond. All of us do respond in one of two ways.

According to the inspired words of Simeon the light of Christ will cause some people to fall never to rise again. “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign to be spoken against....” he said to Mary. (St. Lk. 2:34) This echoes the words of the prophet Isaiah who wrote, “And he will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble thereon; they shall be snared and taken.” (Isa. 8:14,15)

People stumble for a variety of reasons, but the primary reason is their attachment to their sins. The Lord said, “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (St. John 3:19,20)

“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many....” For others the light of Christ will result in a “rising,” a rising to salvation. But even for these people there must first be a fall. We must fall before Jesus in humility and repentance. We fall, but then rise through faith in Christ the Savior. St. Paul said it well, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God- not because of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8,9) Through faith we are united with Christ in His death and resurrection, rising with Him in newness of life.


by Rev. Frank M. Levi

Parish News

The Rt. Rev. Daniel Morse paid us an episcopal visit in October. On Saturday, Oct. 12, Bishop Morse conducted a worship seminar which was very informative. The next day, Sunday, Oct. 13, he preached and celebrated Holy Communion. It was a real privilege to have Bishop Morse with
us and our prayers are with him.

The ladies of the Woman’s Guild had their annual Spaghetti Dinner Saturday evening, Nov. 2, 2002. The dinner was delicious as always and well attended. The ladies were raising money for missions and other worthy projects. We thank the ladies and all others who helped make this event a success.

Advent begins on Dec. 1, 2002. A basket to collect non-perishable foods for the Tinley Park Food Pantry will be in the narthex throughout Advent.

Founders’ Day

December 2, 1873. The founding of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

Christmas Eve Service

Dec. 24, 11 p.m. Refreshments at 10 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

Missionary of The Month

Sue Brodish, Christian Kindergarten, Siebenburgener Weg 16. 34613 Schwalmstadt-1, Germany.

Domestic Missions

Please remember the clergy of the Missionary Diocese: the Rev. Ken Harmen, the Rev. Milton Hood, the Rev. Richard Jones, the Rev. Dr. Lowell Saunders.


Happy Birthday!

Dec. 11 - Loretta Sellers
Dec. 14 - Elizabeth Horn
Dec. 16 - Barney Reagan
Dec. 17 - William O’Brien
Dec. 18 - Thomas Bowman
Dec. 20 - Leah Zoe Andricopulos

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Wesley & Melinda White, proud parents of Anna Kathryn White, born October 12, 2002, 8:33 a.m., 6 lb. 2 oz., 18 in. long.

THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS


Never a season so full of cheer,
No matter where we go,
Tinkling silver in the bells,
Lost carols in the snow.
But most of all the Christmas love
That shines in faces show,
That Christ has come again to earth
To give each heart its glow.

Never a time so beautiful,
For children, you and me-
When every house is a warm home
That trims a tinsled tree,
And Christ returns to everyone
Reliving poetry-
Explaining once again to us
The Christmas mystery!
by Marion Schoeberlein


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