On December 16, 2011 between 1 am and 2 am a flash flood went through the city of Cagayan de Oro on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. At one point 75% of the city was underwater. Some places where 35 meters underwater. The water went to 8 feet within 30 seconds. Thousands lost their lives just a couple of weeks before Christmas.
We just got back from Thailand and were making plans for our move there. We as a family decided to give more than half our clothes and a bulk of our furniture to victims of the flood.
A day or so after the flood the Mayor came on TV with more than half the city destroyed and with no running water for over a month to come said, "We can't celebrate Christmas with so much destruction." It was dark times.
When Jesus was born it was also dark times in Israel. They had a power crazy man over them with the name of King Herod. Roman oppression was strong. And once Herod figured out a baby who would be called "King of Kings" would be born in Bethlehem he had all the baby boys under two years old killed. Much mourning took place that night.
Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt to hide Jesus from Herod until his death. They lived there as refuges in a strange land with people who were very ungodly who spoke a much different language.
Christmas is about Jesus coming and being a light in a dark world. It was dark times then as it is dark times now. But our hope is in Jesus.
Just as Christmas lights light up the night, Jesus is the Light that shines into our darkness and gives hope.
It is in the dark times we need to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus.
You may be facing financial difficulty. You can't find a job. Look toward the Christmas Light.
You maybe facing the soon death of a loved one. He gives hope to the mourning. Jesus is our hope. Jesus is our light.
The most important time of all to celebrate Christmas is in the dark seasons of our lives. May the Light of Christmas (Jesus) shine bright in your Christmas season.
Dustin has been serving as a missionary for 24 years. Here is where he places some of his teaching, thoughts, and updates.