The Light of the World

Advent is a season of waiting, expectation, and hope – a season in which we are invited to navigate the darkness with trust that God navigates it alongside us, illuminating, teaching, restoring – as present and active in the dark as in the full brightness of day.

I went on a walk in my neighborhood at around 4:30 p.m., and as I turned onto this road, the tops of the trees in front of me were reflecting the light. It took walking around another bend for me to realize the brilliance of the setting sun behind me – I didn’t get a picture, but it was magnificent. My hope is that as we navigate the days ahead, we will be as surprisingly brilliant as these trees – these trees barren and waiting in this long winter of rest – yet still reflecting the brilliance of the light, the light beckoning even as it invites the coming night.

I wrote this prayer for a friend’s advent worship liturgy, and it seems fitting as we enter these final days before Christmas:

God in your mercy, your strength, your scattering, your lifting, your filling, your sending, your helping, and because of your merciful covenant loyalty we walk in this unknown with courage and hope. We trust that by your tender mercy the dawn from on high will break upon us. As our eyes have seen your salvation, may our hearts incline to the shadows, bringing light to all we encounter and on earth peace. May you guide our feet into the way of wholeness, well-being, and flourishing for all creation. Amen.

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