Christmas is a time for making memories. A holiday memory of mine is going to visit my cousins in Northern Minnesota. We would stay for several days and we always made great memories playing in the snow and enjoying Christmas together. However, as good as things were, there was a problem for me. My room at home had a window facing the yard light, so I was used to the light and found it comforting. This light stayed on all night.
My cousins’ bedroom (where I was to sleep) was in the basement of their house, and it had no windows. That first night in their room, as they turned off the lights to go to bed, was a shock for me. Even though my eyes were open, there was no light! Nothing! I could not even see my hand in front of my face. This was more than a bit troubling for me as a young child. How could they sleep with no light? How could they feel comfortable in complete darkness? Eventually, I did get tired enough to fall asleep in that dark room.
A little light shining in the darkness makes a big difference. Even a candle in my cousins’ bedroom would have made a huge difference. This world has always been full of the darkness of evil, hate, and sin. We struggle with this darkness today just as they did 2000 years ago. During Advent, we are called to seek out the light of Jesus through his words and presence in our lives. When he was born in the stable, he brought light and hope into this world. Whatever darkness you might be dwelling in today, open your heart to the light of Jesus. Turn on the yard light that brings comfort and hope, Immanuel, God with us. We hear of this light from the Gospel of John the first chapter, verses 3b-5. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Lord Jesus, you broke into the darkness of this world in a humble way, sharing your life, light, and love to a broken world. Help us today to seek you as we deal with darkness in our lives today, shine your light on us. Amen
Who do you know is going through a dark time now?
What can you do to bring the life, light, and love of Christ into the darkness they face?
What darkness in your life do you need Jesus to shine his light upon?
Reverend Perry Aalgaard
First Lutheran Church, Milford, IA