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Happy Thanksgiving!!  We hope you find the joy of celebrating all that God has done for you.  Life is a precious gift and it is good when we offer thanks and praise.  This week, we begin a new sermon series, Stealing Christmas, Take 2.  Several years ago, we did a series of this same title, but since the last series the world has changed.  There are plenty of things this Christmas that can take away our hope, peace, love, and joy.  In the sermon Overcoming Darkness we turn to John 1:1-14.  John wants us to recognize one simple reality: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. In this season of lights, it seems that the darkness is deeper than ever before.  How can it be that the darkness has not overcome it?  The wonder of Christmas is to be found in God’s solution to the darkness of human evil, despair, and misery!  God became human flesh to live with all of us.  Jesus is God’s true light to overcome the deep darkness of humanity!  How is this possible?  In these verses, John helps us to see the light of Christ and how it can transform our lives.  May the light of Christ lift you from the darkness of fear and despair as you read John 1:1-14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.   9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)