December 24, 2020
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.
The year 2020 has been full of darkness: worldwide viral pandemic, racial unrest and riots, destructive wildfires and hurricanes, contentious election, and divisive attitudes and actions. And if all I do is concentrate on this darkness, I can easily feel hopeless and depressed. To combat these feelings, my husband and I decided to intentionally push back the darkness by emphasizing lights this year in our Christmas decorations. The day after Thanksgiving, lights were strung around the deck, across the split-rail fence, in both trees, and around the top of the patio. Our house is surrounded by lights to remind us and our neighbors that the Light of Jesus overcomes the darkness.
This tangible expression of God’s Light also reminds me of my own darkness (sins) and helps me to look to Him. The verse for today reminds me that God’s light illuminates my sins, I confess them and He forgives me. My soul is refreshed and I am reminded that darkness never permeates the light – The Light always pushes away darkness.
Some of the ways that I experience these times of refreshing are in: silence and solitude – just Jesus and I; praise and worship – listening to and singing praise songs; the Word – studying and meditating; and prayer – choosing to start each day focusing on God.
The third verse of the Christmas hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” reminds me that when I focus on Jesus, I experience the Lord’s refreshing:
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer our spirits by Thine advent here.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel has come to thee, Oh Israel.
I choose to push back the darkness with the Light of Jesus. Rejoice with me as we experience the glory of HIS LIGHT this Christmas!
— Sue Young