By Cindy Koch –
Imagine you are sleeping. The room is completely dark and quiet. Your body is completely still. You even have a little drool dripping out of the corner of your mouth onto your pillow. As far as you know, everything is going just fine. You are resting in a dreamland, not thinking about the world on the other side of your closed eyelids.
That’s when it happens. Suddenly a painfully bright light flashes in your face. You try to ignore it and go back to your blissful sleep, but this annoying light will not go away. It shines directly on you, highlighting the little capillaries that are hidden under your eyelashes. No longer are you able to ignore the light. Hiding under a sleepy elbow, you must open your eyes and awake from slumber.
But this light does not arrive just to wake you up from an ignorant pool of drool on your pillow. No, this light continues to shine on your every move. You stumble out of bed, and the light follows. You walk to the coffee maker, the light shines. You suspiciously pull on a coat and hat, the light won’t let you alone. You begin to run for the shadows to escape the exposing beam of light.
Terrified, annoyed, exposed, we want to run into the darkness to hide from the light. Shrouding our wicked desires in the darkness of our heart. Justifying ourselves in the deadly law, scampering back to the shadows. We love the darkness rather than the light because our works are evil.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen (manifest/revealed) that his works have been carried out (worked) in God.”
And this is the light that we encounter in the season of Advent. A God who was once distant, high on His throne in Heaven, was coming to descend onto the earth. A God who set the right and wrong, the good and bad, this God was expected to step into the dust of our earth and walks next to us. A God who cannot tolerate evil and sin would shine his knowing eyes right into our immoral hearts. It was written that He would come to reward the righteous and judge the wicked. So we rightly tremble. Are you worthy to face the light?
You are not. You struggle and hide from the light. You are embarrassed that you are so powerless over your own choices and destiny. Even your best works that you press towards the limelight are soaked with the selfish stench of deserving death. Exposed, with nothing to be proud of, seeing the truth that the light shines on you. You are a poor, miserable sinner displayed in the light.
You are the one that needs a Savior. Revealed in the light, there is only one who can even do the work of God. There is only one who can follow God’s Will. There is only One who can be exposed and have nothing to be ashamed of. The Son of God shines in the darkness, and He shines for you.
When we are reminded of our sickening shame, we don’t look inside our own hearts for the hope of a better day. When our sin is highlighted, we don’t run away from the holy light that shows our impurities. When we remember how much we love the darkness, we hope in Christ. What we celebrate during Advent is the light, Christ. Jesus’ ways are pure as the Father looks at his people. Jesus’ thoughts and desires had never been darkened by sin, and this is your gift of new life. Jesus has been fully exposed, sacrificed for the sin of the whole world and earning eternal life. He is your hope this Advent.
Our Father, as we enter another Advent Season, let us not lose sight of its meaning in our lives. Your gift of HOPE is offered to us always, if we will but remember this. When we get caught up in everyday problems, awaken us to your eternal gift of HOPE and let us cling ever to Jesus.