We have waited long;
Waited in Hope,

We celebrate Light,
God’s arrival,
the Nativity.

And still we pray:
Come, Jesus, Come!

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned. You have made the nation great; you have increased its joy. They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest, as those who divide plunder rejoice.

Isaiah 9:2-3

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On a hiking excursion with junior high and high school students in Yosemite, our group ambitiously thought we could hike above Yosemite Falls then descend down the trail that ran close to the falls to make it back to our camp before dark. Having miscalculated, we found ourselves beginning the descent as nighttime fell. My headlamp then flickered and failed and left us in utter darkness. Just then, miraculously, the clouds opened and the moonlight illuminated the path before us! Several hours later we arrived to the safety of our camp.

Light. Light makes things clear, it chases away the darkness, and it brings joy! Similarly, Jesus’ birth brought joy, clarity, and miraculously chased away the deep darkness in our world. This is both comforting and scary as light illuminates all — even things that you might want to keep hidden. As Mr. Beaver says in C.S. Lewis’ book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe about Aslan (the Christ-figure), “’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

David Loleng

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Dear Lord, as your Light, Jesus, has brought joy and clarity to my life, use me to be a light to someone else. Someone in my family, at school or work, or someone I have yet to meet. I ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.

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“Could it be true, this Bethlehem story of a Creator descending to be born on one small planet? If so, it is a story like no other. Never again need we wonder whether what happens on this dirty little tennis ball of a planet matters to the rest of the universe. Little wonder a choir of angels broke out in spontaneous song, disturbing not only a few shepherds but the entire universe.”

Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, 2002

Jesus’ coming has changed everything. Because of Jesus we are transformed. As changed people we are called to join with Jesus Christ in the transformation of lives, families, communities, and the world.

Go now into your world; go in Christ Jesus!

David Loleng

Rev. David Loleng is the National Associate for Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Presbyterian Mission Agency. He has more than 20 years of ministry experience in Presbyterian churches in California. He is married and has two young children. His hobbies include book collecting and taking long walks… to the refrigerator.

Advent: Wexford Carol

Mark Hayes

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