December 2, 2020
Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
I vividly remember housesitting years ago for friends of friends. The house itself was beautiful, but remote and windowed. As nighttime crept in, my imagination grabbed onto the ‘real’ and turned it sinister. The possibilities behind that creak and threats of those shadows were enough to make my heart race. Sitting on the couch in lonely fear I desperately pleaded to God for a safe night. While I laugh now at my overactive imagination, it’s not without a visceral recall of the physical, mental and emotional anguish of that night.
‘Sitting in darkness’ is an apt description of this season. Stripped of normal, the future altered, we navigate a drastically changed landscape with an inundation of frightening news and unreliable information. As seen in the out-of-character display of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas lights, we are a people longing for light in the darkness.
How precious, then, to recognize that it is in the experience of darkness that the LORD will be a light—that because of Jesus, the light of the world, we do not sit, or walk, or stumble in total darkness, because we have vision that clarifies reality. The menaces that present themselves in strange situations and painful transitions might be real, but they do not define our reality.
These dark days of Advent we recognize the need for light, and the gift that was given us and our world in the birth of Jesus, the light of the world. We do not presently live in fear or blindness, because the darkness is redefined by his light. We cannot muster our way out of this, nor will a new reality. Instead, we recognize our great need for Jesus, and the relief and comfort only he can provide as he gives us his eyes and heart for the world around us.