Keep the Lights On

christmas lights4.jpgI read the story about a family who left their Christmas lights up and kept them burning through the entire month of January.
The colorful, luminous decorations were always aglow. Whether it was night or day, the family kept the lights on 24/7.
The neighbors began to complain, “Why don’t they turn those things off? If they’re too lazy to take them down, they why bother to put them up in the first place?!”
The criticism continued, but the lights kept gleaming through February. Locals invariably spoke in derision each time they drive by the house.
Then one day in early March the neighbors noticed a large, home-made banner hanging outside of the house, it read simply, “Welcome home, Jimmy!” As it turned out, Jimmy was in the military; he had been fighting overseas during the Vietnam War.
When his parents, wife, and children found out that he would be coming home from his tour of duty, they delayed observing the Christmas holiday so that they could all share it together with him. They left their lights on because they wanted everybody in the community to know that their beloved Jimmy was coming home.
Each Sunday (Acts 20:7; cf. Luke 24:1-3, 21, 46), children of God observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:2), and in so doing, announce to the world that Jesus is coming back (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Paul made this very point when he wrote through inspiration, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you PROCLAIM THE LORD’S DEATH TILL HE COMES” (1 Corinthians 11:26; emphasis mine–mb; cf. Hebrews 9:28).
The Greek word for “proclaim”–kataggello–means, “to make a solemn announcement…” 1/ “to promulgate, preach, or show.” /2
In a non-verbal sort of way, Communion (1 Corinthians 10:16) is a well-lit declaration that Jesus lived, died, returned to heaven, and will–on some unspecified occasion–come to claim His own (Matthew 25:31-33).
Remember the words of the song that we sometimes sing in the worship assembly?

“By Christ redeemed, in Christ restored,

We keep the memory adored,

And show the death of our dear Lord,

Until he come!”

And thus that dark betrayal night,

With the last advent we unite,

By one bright chain of loving rite,

Until He come!”

_________

1/ Rienecker/Rogers, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, 427.

2/ Strong, The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, 1166.

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