Following the Star
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.
A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:2, 6
However your day has begun,
enter into these moments
seeking the hope and promise
of the light of God’s love.
A man named John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.
The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world.
Preparing for Christmas by lighting candles warms us to hope, love, peace, joy; Christmas Eve’s Christ candle celebrates God’s presence anew. For many, leading that Advent-wreath-lighting liturgy is a treat! I always dreaded it in the church I used to help lead worship in, though. Beautiful candlelight from the huge wreath danced off mosaics, yet I was daunted by controlling the brass candle lighter’s finicky whims of refusing to light or suddenly extinguishing. Each year I was certain I’d burn down the church!
We prepared expectantly in Advent, celebrated at Christmas, and now we reflect that Christ, the Light of the World, has come!
Today’s gospel about John’s ministry powerfully humbles and reminds us that our call is to live out gratefully our experience with God’s radiance. We ourselves don’t have to be the sole source of that light, the truth of God’s hope, love, peace, joy, and presence.
God’s gracious radiance doesn’t depend on us to ignite it or control it, neither can we extinguish it. It shines, encircling us all.
Gracious and loving God, help me to feel your warming light of hope, love, peace, and joy today. Christmas has come, and yet I may still have advent longings for things in my heart and daily life.
Remind me in the busyness of my Monday back at school or back at work that you are the radiant source of that grace in our world.
May it surround and shine on me and on all today.
Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
Christ, the Light of the World, is walking with you,
amidst the darkness and the light
and all the nuances
of your heart and your living today.