Isaiah prophesied a great light!
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)
John confirmed the arrival of the light.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5 (NLT)
Advent is a time of waiting—a time to reflect—a time of expectation. The word ‘waiting’ is defined as “the action of staying where one is or delaying action for a particular period of time or until something else happens.” Though the period before Christ came was filled with violence and darkness, God had a remnant of people who were waiting and longing for their Messiah to come.
Historically, Advent was set aside as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. Traditionally, believers were encouraged to examine their hearts; check their motives; repent and allow God’s healing presence to restore them to the joy of his salvation.
Jesus declared that we are the light.
You are the light of the world—like a city that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father. Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
Jesus told the story of ten virgins who were waiting for their bridegroom. Five were wise because they had plenty of oil in their lamps. But five were foolishly waiting without being fully prepared. While they waited, their lights grew dim and went completely out. They had to rush into the village to buy more oil and relight their lamps. While they were scampering to correct their mistakes, the bridegroom came. They were not prepared to meet him. (From Matthew 25)
After months of isolation, disappointment, racial injustice, strife, bitterness, and hatred, are our lights flickering? Are they in danger of going out?
A few years ago, my husband and I sang in a church choir called the Metro Singers. One favorite song continues to play in my head: “Jesus Be the Lord of All.” Advent is a good time to unlock those places in our hearts and minds that we haven’t completely surrendered to King Jesus. Those places where we have been hurt, disappointed, angered and felt unloved. He holds the key to unlock those dark places. If we surrender to him, he will shine his light of truth on those hidden places and heal our wounded spirits.
Before Jesus left to return to his father in heaven, he promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to live in and through them–a guide, teacher, comforter, friend. Not just for them but for us today. The Spirit working through committed believers is piercing the dark places of this world with the Light of Christ; . In this season of dire circumstances, our lights need to shine at full brilliance–spreading love, kindness, comfort, and peace to those who cross our paths.
As you wait in the threshold for the light to come, by faith, light the Advent candle of Hope, plug in your Christmas tree and prepare your heart to embrace the Holy One. Be prepared to be amazed!