This time of year we have just gone through the shortest day of the year, still 24 hours but the least amount of light. I am preparing for a trip to Yellowknife in the Canadian North West Territories. Yellowknife sits about 250 miles south of the Artic Circle. Currently they have about 4-5 hours of sunlight each day. In the summer they will have almost 24 hours of sunlight. Light and darkness take on a whole new meaning in that environment. They live in a very extreme cycle of light and darkness (not to mention temperatures, this week the high in Yellowknife will be -9 F)
In the Christian Year, the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are a cycle of light. We start with this from Isaiah… “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” (Isaiah 9:2) During the four weeks of Advent we get a little more light with an additional candle being lit each Sunday. Christmas, the Feast of the Incarnation is the Light of Christ coming into the world. Darkness is dispelled in this moment of salvation, redemption.
Finally we come to Epiphany in which the light of the Gospel is revealed to the world. We see then in the coming of the Wise Men to worship the Newborn King. God has revealed the Good News of Jesus not just to Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and some humble shepherds. He has now revealed His plan of redemption to the world. These kings, wise men discern the stars and in doing so discover The God who loved the world so much that He gave his Son…
As Christians our task is to be light in the darkness of this world. The Light of Christ manifested with us, in us and through us. We become the Christmas star to people pointing them to the Savior of the world. We take on the role of John the Baptist preparing the way for Messiah in this world. We let the light shine and it removes the darkness. We shine brighter through prayer and worship, study and service becoming more Christ-like the darkness dissipates and is vanquished.
Good things to carry into the new year!