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Friday, December 16, 2022

Star Barn at Christmas
The magnificent Star Barn in Elizabethtown, PA
Click to enlarge

"The Life-bringer and the Light-bearer"

Message summary: Light and life to all He brings!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of men" (John 1:4).

One of our area's newer attractions is the Star Barn property in Elizabethtown, PA about five miles from us. It has been developed in the last ten years by David Abel, a Christian businessman, around an iconic barn we drove past on the way to Harrisburg which was in rapid decay. The barn was disassembled and moved to David Abel's property and carefully restored. Now, of course among other hosted events, it is a popular wedding venue.

Star Barn Christmas meal

There are many activities on the property during the Christmas season including a Christmas Light Drive-Thru, Christmas Dinner and Show at The Star Barn (photo above), the National Christmas Center museum, train ride and Christmas Village, where we plan to go tomorrow.

Most importantly there is a very purposeful effort to keep Christ in Christmas, an expression of Dave's faith and one unmistakable feature is how bright it is with all the lights, an expression of Christ being "the light of men".

Indeed the glorious message of the Incarnation is the incomparable blessing expressed in these words "light and life to all He brings". Do you recognize the Christmas carol this phrase is found in? Today let us consider the aspect of Christ's incarnation of how He came to bring light and life.

"In Him was life." John uses the word "life" 36 times in his Gospel, more than any other New Testament book.  William Barclay observes, "In a great piece of music the composer often begins by stating the themes on which he is going to elaborate in the course of the work. That's just what John does here. Life and light are two of the great basic themes on which the Fourth Gospel is developed and expounded upon."

Consider that, in the things that really matter, we have only two great quests in life:

One is for abundant life (full and meaningful). Again, Jesus has provided this. He said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

The other is for eternal life and Jesus provides this. The Bible says this in its most familiar verse, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

We can sure be grateful it's not abundant life here or eternal life later! We have the tremendous blessing of receiving both when we receive Christ as our Savior! We have both abundant life here and eternal life later.

"That life was the light of men."  Leon Morris writes, "John is preparing the way for the thought that he will develop throughout his Gospel, that Jesus is the life-bringer and light-bearer."

Today this abundant and eternal life and light is freely available to all. So many woefully reject Him; others shrug off this greatest of gifts and pay no attention, basing their focus instead upon the paltry substitutes the world offers.

But the Bible declares: "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). Have you chosen to receive His greatest gift today?

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, it is through Jesus that we experience light and life because He came as light into the world and provides abundant life to those who follow Him. May we walk faithfully and earnestly in the light of Christ being known for our acts of kindness rather than deeds of darkness. May those still walking in darkness be drawn to You, our Life-bringer and Light-bearer, through Your Holy Spirit and by the testimonies of Your followers, in what we say, the songs we sing, by our countenance and by the things we do as we represent You in the home, the workplace and wherever we go. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Light Has Come"  Video  The University of Mobile     Outstanding!

"Hark The Herald Angels Sing"  Video  Reawaken Hymns

Shine (The Darker the Night, The Brighter the Light)  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

Star Barn pot-bellied stove
A pot-bellied stove in Star Barn is one of the many examples of the old-time ambience.

Star Barn Christmas meal 12/19/19
The Christmas meal is held on the second floor of the massive Star Barn in a beautiful setting. This photo was from we went with Convene, a business group, several years ago.
Click to enlarge

Star Barn train at Christmas
The steam train at the Star Barn property in Elizabethtown, PA

Star Barn nativity scene
A nativity scene in the Star Barn
Click to enlarge

Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). Like most ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if you would like information about making a donation to our ministry see here.

In considering support we are so pleased when we hear from you, our readers, that our messages are a source of teaching and encouragement to you. We also urge you to consider the mission aspect of these daily teachings that are freely available and read by many all over the world.

 To donate directly online click here. (This will open to a page that designates the offering to: STEPHEN & BROOKSYNE WEBER - 700001-237376 SERVING IN SPECIALIZED CHAPLAINCY)
Make A DonationIf you desire you can also donate directly through PayPal using this link. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber". We keep this option available due to the familiarity, convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not need an official receipt. You can also set up for recurring donations.    
Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. Brooksyne read and wrote about the poem in this message.  

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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