Light to the World!

All the ends of the earth shall turn to the Lord. – Psalm 22:27

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. – John 1:9

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This image of Christmas lights was captured with a zoom lens and long exposure. The display was at a large equipment business along US 290 in Houston, Texas. It featured everything from angels to Santa and his sled.

John Thomas Ralph Augustine James Facenda has resonate iconic voice you might recognize. He was a fixture on Philadelphia radio and television for decades, and achieved national fame as a narrator for NFL Films and Football Follies. Wikipedia notes that, “Through his work with NFL Films, Facenda was known by many National Football League fans as ‘The Voice of God.'”

That monicker may have been more apropos than NFL fans thought. In 1948 Facenda recorded a narrated version of the Christmas story. His deep voice,rhetorical style, and clear articulation are iconic of that era. And while the style might be dated, the story of Jesus’ birth – even with the imagined realities surrounding the challenges faced by Mary and Joseph – is eternal in nature and meaning.

The true light was coming into the world! God was not willing to let us remain in the darkness of sin and godlessness. The saddest thing of all surrounding this celebration of Christmas is the total abandonment of the birth of Christ by far too many people. It’s not so much that people are in the dark as they have closed their eyes to the light of Jesus as his followers seek to honor him and celebrate his birth.

One day it will no longer be so. One day all the ends of the world will turn to the Lord. One day Jesus will be acknowledged to be Lord of all, by all people. Some will do it under duress. Others will delight to call him Lord. In the meantime even those who do not know it are enlightened by his birth, life, death, and resurrection. For wherever there is grace, truth, justice, sacrifice, hope, goodness, and life, it is because of Jesus. He is the wellspring of all that is truly good.

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