“Christmas has become cozy. Advent calls us to stay awake.” – NT Wright
I’m a fan of things like Advent and Lent because they invite us to join people all over the world to collectively slow down and turn our attention towards Jesus in a communal way. Advent comes from the latin word adventus (a translation of the Greek word parousia) meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. For Christians around the world, Advent is a season of anticipation, expectancy and preparation for the birth of Jesus, but also an anticipation of His return.
This year, the first Sunday of Advent happens to fall on the first day of Hannukah. Hanukkah means “dedication.” Jewish people around the world light their menorahs each night of Hannukah, celebrating the historical events that happened during the Intertestamental Period when their people won freedom and independence from foreign rule for 100 years under Hasmonean leadership. It’s a story of light invading darkness and the miraculous story of the one-day oil in the Temple lasting for 8 nights while new oil was purified for use in the Temple. The eternal flame (ner tamid) did NOT go out. The lamp of the Presence remained, igniting hope and joy in the hearts of the Jewish people.
Advent and Hannukah are meant to bring us toward the light.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” (John 1:9)
He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him.” (John 1:10)
Today I’m thinking about what it means for the light of Jesus to still be coming into the world. Is it possible that his light comes through people who carry him to make things lighter for others to carry?
Maybe it looks like sharing a loaf of bread or dropping off a meal off to someone.
It could be a hand written note sent in the mail that displays a thought isn’t just fleeting through a busy day, but also staying in your heart towards the well-being of someone you love.
It’s slowing down enough to be curious about the people for whom the light has come to.
How about you?
Did you notice the light today?
What did it look like?
Did it warm you or surprise you?
Did it help you see something or someone more clearly?
Wherever you find yourself today, may there be light and may you feel the gentle embrace and light burden of our Savior’s yoke. The one that invites you to rest in the truth that you are seen, loved and welcomed as you are.
Let us thank God together for He is drawing us near to Himself and letting his light shine through us.
Suzie Lind is the Executive Pastor or Ministries at Journey Church in Brentwood, TN. Suzie’s primary role is to help people embark on their spiritual path with God and others during their time at Journey. She helps people navigate into Villages, leads the movement of women and is part of the teaching team.
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