Light in the Darkness
December 23, 2014
“If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.” -Isaiah 58:10
One of the powerful themes of Advent is light shining in the darkness.
Have you noticed how most of the Christmas story takes place at night? While shepherds were watching their flocks by night, an angel brings them good news of great joy, that a Savior is born, who will be the Messiah! Then a multitude of angels fill the night sky praising God. The Magi follow a star, visible at night, to find the child, who was born king of the Jews.
God’s light has always been needed in the darkness of our world. Where oppressive power, greed, dishonesty, indifference, violence and fear reign, darkness suffocates life, health, and joy.
The light of Christ, which came to Bethlehem, and which shone through Jesus’ ministries of preaching, teaching, compassion and healing, is still needed and is present in our world today.
The love of Christ is light in our world. It shows us the way to live. It has power to transform lives and make them new. It allows us to live in love, not fear; to work for peace, and denounce violence; to counter prejudice with respect and understanding.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12).” He also said, “You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before others (Matt. 5:14,16).”
When we act as the hands and feet of Christ, we bring that light into the darkness. Whether befriending a neighbor of a different culture, tutoring a refugee, clothing or feeding the homeless, you bring the light of Christ. When you visit the sick, offer a listening ear to the lonely, provide toys for children, or give generously to alleviate suffering, you shine the light of Christ into the darkness.
During Advent we are encouraged to wait patiently for the Lord, to prepare the way of the Lord, and to open our hearts to receive the Christ child. When Christ has been born in us, we will let the love of Christ move us to share his light in the dark places of discouragement, sadness, despair, and fear, so that others may find hope, peace, love and joy.
Prayer: Loving God, help us to open our hearts to your love that knows no bounds. Give us the courage to be your light even in the scary dark places of the world. We give thanks for those who have gone before us to show us the way. Amen.
Reverend Mary Beth Mankin
Colorado AB Women’s Ministries