Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Today's text

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on the inhabitants of a country in shadow dark as death light has blazed forth (Isaiah 9:2).

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


The lights came on in the narthex last Sunday. Normally, it is a bit dark there, but on Sunday the room glowed and it had nothing to do with the overhead lights.

Jim and Jennifer walked into the entry of the church with their four-year olds twins, Niklas and Sydney. They had just returned from Boston and Sydney’s fourth open heart surgery.

No one needed to say how things had gone. The light in their eyes told the story.

The anxiety that had shadowed their eyes in recent weeks was gone. The lights had come back on … in them. Christmas had come once more.

Christmas comes, as it always does, resplendent with light that scatters the darkness, chasing away our fears and warming our hearts.

Glorious light, joyful light plays and dances through the stories and songs of Christmas.

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.

Arise and shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen on

The dawn from on high shall break upon us to give light to those who sit in
            darkness and in the shadow of death..

The glory of the Lord shined around them.

A great star arises in the sky to announce the arrival of God’s light in human

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

We sing of a little town called Bethlehem in whose “dark streets shineth the everlasting light.” Our hearts are moved to deep quiet in a silent night when “all is calm, all is bright” and “love’s pure light” radiantly shines from the face of a child.

We understand the songs because we have felt the darkness, and we know the exhilaration and peace that fills us when the light comes on in our hearts.

It awakens undeniable hope and the certain awareness that the light of God’s presence has come and always will. The dawn of God’s eternal day will penetrate the world’s darkness, scattering the doubt and hopelessness of human hearts that we may live with joy and love with strength.

As the year wanes and nights grow long, our need to see and feel the light of God’s loving nearness grows urgent. We need to hear, once more, that the light of God’s dawning is always near, always at hand.

Come Lord Jesus, pure brightness of the ever-living God. Come lighten our darkness.

For prayer & reflection

  • What experiences or hopes did today’s reflection stir in you?
  • What is your favorite Christmas song or story? What grace and blessing does it give you?
  • What darkness do you bear this year which needs the light of God’s dawning?

Another voice

Voice in the distance, call in the night, on wind you enfold us, you speak of the light. Gentle on the ear you whisper softly, rumors of a dawn so embracing. Breathless love awaits darkened souls. Soon we will know of the morning.
(“Night  of Silence,” Daniel Kantor, 1984)

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