Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent(ures) - {No. 5.5} What the Christmas Star Can Teach Us About Darkness...


On the first day of this advent-ure, we had read this:

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
John 1:4-5 


The Christmas Star teaches us about contrasts:
 - moments of sparkling joy excavated from under blankets of black suffering
 - smiles in the midst of tears
 - the riches of kings laid at the feet of an infant
 - death and life, life and death
 - journeys and arrivals
 - mysteries and revelations
 - prophecies and promises fulfilled
 - hardships and abundance
 - light penetrating darkness
 - heaven invading earth 
 - the Creator becoming one with creation

A little later, still in the book of John, we read this:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12 

And though we have the light of life, and therefore we are never in total darkness, there are times when:
For now we see through a glass, darkly
but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  
1 Corinthians 13:12 

The Christmas Star teaches us that Light will always overwhelm the darkness,
                                                    that Light will illuminate and lead to the path of life,
                                                    that Light will reveal that which is presently not understood,
                                                    that the Light will always shine, even when a heart may remain closed to it,
                                                                 patiently, gently warming it with Its eternal fire...            
                                                     that Light came to be present with us, in all of life's darkness...

John Piper shared great wisdom today, beginning with these words: 

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize . . . 
but one who in every respect has been tested as we are.
(Hebrews 4:15)

Read the rest of his insightful thoughts here... Desiring God

Ann Voskamp wrote about the broken hearts here - and it is so timely... Where Is God in the Dark of This Weekend? and When You'd Like a Relationship Miracle This Christmas.

Just as the Wise Men from the East had to journey a great distance over much time, following the beaconing star, and finally finding the object of their worship, so also those who face pain and brokenness this holiday season will have a long journey over time - and as they follow the Light that shines into their darkness, they will come to their own personal place of worshipping the One whose Light will ultimately engulf all this darkness...

Let us lift up our prayers and keep watch with all those who are hurting...

********************************************
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, 
keeping watch over their flock by night.  
...And the angel said unto them, Fear not:
 for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luke 2:8-10

The Daily Reading -
Day 16: Luke 2:13-14



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