Light is critical to all life. No living things grow and flourish in darkness. Without Christ in our life, we walk in darkness. St. Paul tells the Ephesian people how important it is to live and walk as children of light. In this scripture, St. Paul tells us that all good fruit in life is a product of the light of Christ in our world. As such he encourages us to walk in ways that will grow good fruit; this is the heart of the gospel. Jesus says the world will know we are Christians by the fruit of our lives (Matt. 7:16).
Yesterday (Sunday) began the season of Advent on the Western Christian Calendar. The Eastern churches have been in Advent for a while longer. Advent is a time for celebrating the coming of Jesus Christ, the uncreated, eternal light, into our world at His nativity. Jesus’ first coming was not only to save the world, but to show us the way to a life of meaning and purpose, to shed His light upon those who will open their eyes and see. The Light of Jesus conquers all darkness; it brings us together so we don’t have to walk alone. St. John says if we walk in the light of Christ, because He is the light, then we have fellowship with one another and we are made clean by His blood (1 John 1:7).
But, what does it mean to “walk in the light”? One thing it means is to have eyes of faith that Jesus is present and working in our situation no matter how dark it looks. The psalmist says that even thought the light around us becomes dark, it isn’t dark to God, and there is nowhere we can escape His presence (Ps. 139). Sometimes, life gets so hard it appears all is darkness, but don’t give up. Jesus never leaves or forsakes us. He is at work in even through the dark times of life.
Just as darkness can seem to prevail even though the light of Christ is everywhere, it is also possible to perceive darkness as light. Our Epistle for this week tells us to discern what is pleasing to the Lord (Vs. 10). Not everything that looks like light is light. Some light is counterfeit. Satan masquerades as an Angel of light, according to scripture (2 Cor. 11:14), so we must learn what is pleasing to the Lord. One of the ways we learn is to spend time in scripture and prayer; Advent is a great time to grow in these spiritual disciplines.
As we begin Advent this week, ask yourself this question; am I walking in darkness? We must be able to discern the difference in true light from false light. If things appear dark around you, call out to Jesus; He is here for you. Let’s take the great Apostle’s words seriously and learn to walk wisely (vs. 15) because the days are evil. I’m praying for an increase of light on my path, and I hope you will too. The first candle of Advent is the candle of Hope. Not matter what your life is like today, remember, there is always hope, and hope does not disappoint (Rom. 5:5).
Grace & Peace,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”