Light a Candle
Are you climbing to get to the light? Are you in a dark pit looking up? I’m afraid that this is a common place for many today. What is the problem? I believe it is the darkness that is falling around us in many ways even in economic upturn. There is an ambient darkness in our world where a survival mentality seems to have returned mankind to an animal-like existence of dog-eat-dog and so in so must be destroyed. Sadly it seems to be coming from the highest places. I will not call it political because it is way below that perspective. It is the banal and carnal soul of man that has become so skeptical that light cannot shine through. That is why I am expectant and anticipating a brilliant dawn as Advent moves to Christmas-tide.
Isaiah the Prophet, living 700 years before Jesus Christ was incarnated into the world said, “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…Those walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as the people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:1,2-7a).
Now this is a very dramatic prophecy of the Messiah coming to change gloom and darkness into light and life everlasting. This Messianic prophecy was one of 322 in the Old Testament concerning Jesus’ coming into the world. They have all been accomplished or fulfilled. The chances of this happening if just eight of them came true was extrapolated by scientists to be one chance in 31,135,104,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 31 x 10). I won’t try to take this any further because it is not within human understanding. It is a demonstration by the Almighty of His plan and powerful omniscience and control. I personally find this so overwhelming that I want to stop and worship the God who would stop the profound evil by bringing good into the world through His Son. Jesus, who is fully man and fully God came to show us the way, the truth and the life and then die for us that we might be able to live in His light and forgiveness. This sacrifice of God was to bring healing to a broken and wounded world, one soul at a time. We need to confess our sin and darkness and claim the light and healing it brings. This is what Christmas and Easter are all about. As the Apostle Paul put it, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
So, when I look out the window at the snow covered and frozen tundra, I don’t think wasteland, I think of purifying light and love coming down one perfect flake at a time to change one imperfect soul at a time through God’s Son. That is the hope of Advent; expectantly waiting for the birth of the One described by Isaiah who was crushed for our iniquities and by whose wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). We are all like sheep gone astray and turning to our own ways he continues. This is the apex of world history that God would intervene to bring grace and salvation to earth for a broken people. This is why candles and lights are lit, gifts given and toasts made. It is not because of our goodness to one another but the goodness of God unto us.
This Advent pause and find a silent place to contemplate the mystery of God’s holiness being ransomed for our wickedness. “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12).
Only by the blood of the Lamb can we be redeemed and made good. So light a candle or eight and let them shine!