Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent 2015

"Light in the Darkness"


             In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:1-5 nrsv).


             During the season of Advent, lights hold special significance for me.  The reference above is of course but one of many used by the prophets and used in the New Testament relating to Christ's birth.  When our children were small we enjoyed the lighting of the Advent wreath and other church ceremonies with candles.  After we decorated our tree, we all loved that exciting moment when we turned on its lights the first time.  Lights are used by other faith traditions and in other cultures and are doubtless enjoyed by nonbelievers.  For us as Christians, lights are a key and recurring theme in the birth of the Christ child, an event that has provided our constant source of light and love for more than 2,000 years. 

              The prophecies of Christ being the one of peace (Micah 5:5) and executing justice and righteousness (Jeremiah 33:15) and God leading Israel with joy, in the light of his glory (Baruch 5:9) provide a framework of God's plan for humanity.  Our challenge is to decide what to do to fulfill this plan and how to do it.  Today's excessive information stream, controversies, and so many experts claiming to know the only "real truth" make it increasingly difficult to determine God's plan and our role in it.  However, being consistently mindful of Christ's light and love will help us discern God's will for us and better understand how we may manifest his love in our world today. Hopefully, we will be inspired to work together, adhering to Jesus' instruction in Matthew 5:16 which reads in part, "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

            During Advent, may we each find time to consider our       never-failing source of light, love, and hope that God has given us in his son, through his infinite mercy and grace.  May we as individuals and as a church be renewed in his love, opening our hearts to ways we can demonstrate this light and love to others, now and through the coming year, so that "all shall see the salvation of God."

- Faye Redding


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