Waiting for the Light to come
All over the world, Christians celebrate Advent as the season leading up to Christmas. Traditionally, churches celebrate 4 weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas Day. (Since our church meets in a gym, we won't be having a service on Christmas Day, so we celebrate 5 weeks of Advent!)
One of the traditions of Advent is the lighting of candles - another candle is lit each week as we get closer and closer to Christmas Day. The symbolism is that Jesus, the light of the world, comes into the world at Christmas time. We anticipate his coming throughout the weeks of Advent, looking forward to the time when the light shines bright!
It doesn't take long to see that we live in a dark world. On a global level, we see the immediate threats of climate change, the horror of human trafficking, the presence of wars and military conflicts, persistent poverty in an age of unparalleled prosperity, and much more. While that's bad enough, we see the presence of darkness in our personal lives as well - friends who disappoint & betray us, conflict & distance with family members, dead-end jobs and stress at every turn.
Sometimes, I don't even want to think of all the darkness that's around us. I want to ignore it all and distract myself somehow. The darkness seems overwhelming.
But when I start to think that the darkness is overwhelming, I remember what the gospel writer, John, said about Jesus:
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Light always overwhelms darkness. There is no darkness that can drive away even the smallest flickering candle. In a pitch black darkness, a single flame will illuminate an entire room. No matter how dark the world gets, the light of Jesus will always overcome it. When we walk in his light, we have hope, peace, security, and life.
This Advent, as we wait for the coming of the light to our lives and to our world, may we have the courage to look fully into the darkness. Let's not shield ourselves from the effects of sin in our world, but let's recognize that Christ has overcome it. Then, let's celebrate Jesus, the light that has already come into the world and will one day come again to drive away all the darkness.
See you on Sunday as we continue our Advent series - Birth of a King!