Lighting Up the World

Today’s Word:  LIGHT

Today’s Time of Stillness:  5 minutes

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

There’s a spotlight on the side of my neighbor’s house.  Every time I go to the mailbox after dark, my movement along the driveway triggers the bright light to shine and makes me want to raise both of my hands in the air like a prisoner spotted on the wrong side of the fence.

Light that breaks into darkness is powerful force.

“When I light a candle at midnight, I say to the darkness, ‘I beg to differ.’”

This quote is attributed to an unnamed philosopher in the first century.  I don’t know what caused this person to be up at midnight.  Probably the same things that keep you wide awake in the middle of the night.  Fear.  Worry.  Problems that ensnare our thinking like a tangled net.  Revisiting a regret.  Rehearsing tomorrow’s trouble.

Darkness calls out to our deepest fears with a taunting narrative that we are helpless or hopeless or alone.  Fear says this darkness is our story.  Faith lights a candle and says, “I beg to differ.”

This Advent we need little reminder that the world can be a dark place.  But we dare not live as if that is the whole story.

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

When John wrote those words, when Jesus told each of his followers, “You are the light of the world,” there were no spotlights or power grids or generators.  There were no flood lights on dark driveways.  Just small candles, and flickering flames.  Vulnerable to being snuffed out.  Repeatedly and persistently called to dispel darkness anywhere someone was courageous and foolish enough to light a candle and say, “I beg to differ.”

This Advent, may God’s light dispel the darkness of our hearts, and may we have the courage to light candles of our own.

Sometimes seasons in our lives feel like long stretches of darkness.  May these thoughts on Embracing the Darkness offer you some comfort and encouragement.

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