Isaiah 9:2 – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (NIV)
In the winter, when daylight saving time brings darkness an hour earlier, some of our churches move the evening services back an hour so people can get home before darkness sets in. There are many reasons for this, one being that the elderly have problems driving in the darkness, and a second, that many live alone and do not feel comfortable entering a dark house.
There is just something about the light of the sun that makes us feel safe, and something about the dark of night that generates fear. Sometimes, our life becomes one of shadows. We don't want the full sun because it burns us. Neither do we want the full darkness, because it holds our fears. We move into a world of shadows.
One of the reasons for the Advent season is to prepare us for seeing in the darkness. It is like standing at the door of our well-lighted homes, looking out into the darkness, wondering what is out there. Jesus is out there, but sometimes, we can't see Him because the fears in our lives have accumulated and blocked out the light.
Advent prepares our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. This is a time to refocus our spiritual eyes and to see the birth of the One who brought us light.
The Advent season should lead us to that point where we see Jesus, the baby born in the manger, as the One Who brought light into the world. He's still out there today.
Prayer: Lord, open our hearts during this Advent season and let the true light dispel the darkness and shadows lurking there. May it warm our hearts and refresh our souls. Amen.