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The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land,The light will shine on them. Isaiah 9:2 (NASB)
To be honest, as a Southern Baptist, I don’t really know much about Advent. It was never celebrated in my church until the last few years. And I know some Baptists still think it’s a ritual that doesn’t belong there. But I think it’s a beautiful celebration of the coming of our Savior. Each week a candle is lit and added to the lit candles for the previous weeks. The first candle stands for the hope the Old Testament prophecies brought of a coming Messiah.
This prophecy of Isaiah tells of the coming of Jesus to be the Light of the World to a people in darkness. What darkness? Sin. That’s a word we don’t like to talk about much these days. It’s taboo. We’re supposed to have “tolerance” for all kinds of immorality, crime, and even down to the murder of our unborn But a police officer killing someone in the course of doing his job is pilloried as if he were Satan himself and used as an excuse for all kinds of lawlessness. Even such sins as suicide are glorified as “death with dignity” and the definition of marriage that has stood for thousands of years has been eradicated with one swipe of our President’s pen. We do live in a dark land indeed! And it seems to be getting darker every day.
So where is the Light Jesus came to bring? Can we still have hope? Yes! Our hope is in the gospel. The good news that Jesus is alive. That this world is not all there is. That death has been defeated and the penalty for our sin has been paid. That redemption is not only possible, but freely given. And it’s us. We, who claim the Name of Jesus, are to be that light and bring that good news to all we come in contact with. I think we’ve fallen down on our job. If we hadn’t, this world wouldn’t be in the sad shape it’s in. But what’s done is done, so we can’t go whining in our communion grape juice about it. The question is: What now? The answer is repent and become a light!
Where do we start? With our neighbors. With our families. With our friends. We don’t have to go halfway around the globe to be missionaries. Our mission field is wherever we are. As a girl, I learned a song called, One Little Candle. The last line of this song goes, “And if everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be.” As we light our Advent candles this year, let’s commit ourselves to BEING that candle to our dark world. Jesus is the only hope this world has, In Luke 2:10-12 the angel says, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” We have the Answer. Let’s not hoard it up like the Pharisees. Let’s eagerly share it just like the shepherds did!
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What are your Christmas traditions that help you prepare for the coming of the Savior?