The Advent Season Is Here: The Light Shines Into The Darkness…
It is very easy for this period, November to January to go by without any real reflection of the purpose and promises of God. Our preparation and celebration of Thanksgiving; the availability of once in a lifetime bargains on Black Friday and cyber Monday; vacations and other travels, decorations and celebrations for the holidays and Christmas; New Year celebrations and the recovery needed from these, can eclipse all the focus that one might want to place on those elements related to the Christian Faith. Unfortunately, even the church that should be keeping the meaning and significance of Advent before us often gets caught up in the frenzy of programs and events which serve our interests and satisfy our own desires.
We see more secularism than sacredness during this season. There must be some deliberate effort on the part of the community of Christian believers to keep the sacredness of our faith as the central focus during our celebrations. This we seek to do by observing an old tradition of the Faith, the four Sundays of Advent. Let me be quick to say that there is no biblical record of this observation. But the history of the church reveals that at some time in the early years of the Church, persons who repented of their sins were taken through a period of preparation before they were officially received into the church. It was a period of prayer and fasting which culminated sometime in January. As we can see, the focus was an internal one, the preparation of the heart and spirit.
One of the men who is referred to in Scripture who was waiting for the coming of the Messiah was Simeon, (Luke 2:25-35). He was in the temple when Joseph and Mary brought the Baby Jesus for the rituals to be performed. In his praise to God Simeon stated that his eyes had seen the Lord’s salvation which was a Light of revelation for the Gentiles and the glory of God’s people, Israel. Will you see Jesus the way Simeon saw Him this Advent season? We are going to be seeing various arrays of lights this time of the year. But the only true Light is the One who takes us out of our own darkness and places us into His glorious Light.
The Light will never go dim. From His entrance into the world when the Word became flesh and lived among us until the day we see Him or return with Him in the clouds of heaven to restore all things according to His purpose, we are assured that anyone who follows Him will not walk in darkness but will have the Light of life. Jesus is the Light of the world.