Lights On, Lights Out
December 19- Luke 1:67-80
v.79 "to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
It looks like the year has come. Ezra asked if we could hang Christmas lights on the parsonage. He noticed one neighbor across the street had displayed their lights even before Thanksgiving.
In the midst of darkness, just one light draws all attention.
The answer to "Where are you?" begins with one determined flame. Zechariah praises God and prophesies over his son John's call to "give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."
Part of John's ministry was first to "turn out the lights" on our self-justifying pride and complacency. Advent is a penitential season, if you choose to accept its mission.
Cultural Christmas involves hanging lights on your house, turning on the Christmas tunes, and bringing in the season with generosity and cheer. The Season of Advent, on the other hand, invites us to sit in darkness awaiting the light of the world, with songs of anticipation and confession.
It would be a rare and precious gift to find ways to celebrate both of these seasons and one and the same time. To celebrate the light and sit in the dark. To humble ourselves before the Lord's coming and to express our joy in carols of the Christ-child. To consider the Gift of God even as we purchase gifts for others.
God of Light, you have overcome the darkness through the work of your Son, the Light of the World. Enlighten us with your gifts, that our light might shine before all people and the glory be given unto You. Amen.