A series of biblical readings and prayers from David L. Miller, senior pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Naperville, IL. David is the former editor of The Lutheran magazine and Director of Spiritual Formation at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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.