Advent Reflections, part 1: Light, Darkness, Despair, and Peace

We are officially in December, in the midst of the Advent season. This means a) that it is the busiest time of the year and b) that it is the time of year when we remember Christ’s birth.

The second part is so important to not forget among all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. For the next few weeks, I want to share some reflections, verses, and hymns that mean a lot to me during the Christmas season in the hope that they will help you refocus on the real meaning of the season.

Today, I want to talk about darkness. And light. And hope. And peace.

On Sunday, I was reading in Isaiah, and I read this passage:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.

-Isaiah 9:2

I’m sure you have heard this words before, whether in Advent readings, Lessons and Carols services, or other places around this time of year. But this year, especially, they struck me and left me feeling very encouraged.

Because I honestly think we are in the middle of a very dark time in the history of the world. Everything that can go wrong is going wrong all over every continent. We have never been so separated from all that is good and true. We truly are dwelling “in a land of deep darkness”.

But, you see, this is what this passage is all about. The people walking in darkness are the ones who will see the light. The people in deep darkness receive God’s glorious shining.

It is for those in darkness that Jesus came, to bring hope and joy and peace to those who are the most lost in despair and darkness and brokenness.

And He will come again. Isaiah 11 says,

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him…The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat…and a little child shall lead them.”

As Christians, this is what we have to look forward to: a time when Christ will return to complete the work He started at his first coming, a time when He will restore peace and justice and all that is good and right and true to the Earth.

This is what Christmas is about: this light, this peace, this joy. Don’t despair when you see the evil and darkness in the news and in your life. Remember that Christ came not for the perfect, but for the broken.

And one day, we will have eternal light and peace, and the Christmas story reminds us that such things are not lost forever.

love, grace

*all verses from ESV version of the Bible

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