Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Advent: Light in the Darkness

It's the season of Advent.

”Arise, shine; for your light has come, 
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 
For behold, darkness will cover the earth, 
And deep darkness the peoples; 
But the LORD will rise upon you, 
And His glory will appear upon you. 
And nations will come to your light, 
And kings to the brightness of your rising."  
(Isaiah 60:1-3)

Some call it a mini-Lent, as Christ's light contrasts with the darkness that each of us knows within ourselves:

When the Lord comes, he will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. 
(1 Corinthians 4:5)

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light... 
(from The Book of Common Prayer) 

It is during the season of Advent that our earthly darkness reaches its greatest point.

And then, after the shortest day of the year, when the days begin imperceptibly to lengthen, as our earthly light is on the increase, we celebrate the coming of the Light into the world.

In the tender mercy of our God, the dayspring on high shall break upon us, to give light to those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1: 78-79)  

In Advent, we wait in darkness. But it is not a passive waiting.  Like the ten wise virgins, we are called to prepare for His coming.

The questions that truly matter in life are remarkably few, and they are all answered by these words— “Come to Me.” ...If I will simply come to Jesus, my real life will be brought into harmony with my real desires. I will actually cease from sin, and will find the song of the Lord beginning in my life. ...Personal contact with Jesus changes everything. Be “foolish” enough to come and commit yourself to what He says. The attitude necessary for you to come to Him is one where your will has made the determination to let go of everything and deliberately commit it all to Him.

“. . . and I will give you rest”— that is, “I will sustain you, causing you to stand firm.” He is not saying, “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.” But, in essence, He is saying, “I will get you out of bed— out of your listlessness and exhaustion, and out of your condition of being half dead while you are still alive. I will penetrate you with the spirit of life, and you will be sustained by the perfection of vital activity.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 11)

It is a living Light that we await.  It is his Life that beats within our waiting hearts, as we turn them toward Him.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.  (Isaiah 9:2)

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come!


Amy said...

A beautiful post!

At A Hen's Pace said...

Thanks, Amy! Glad to see you are blogging again!


Heather said...