advent reflection

Light: An Advent Reflection

Bil Mooney-McCoy, director of worship

Something that fascinates me is the variety and multiplicity of names that the Bible gives for Jesus. Some are straightforward—“King of Kings,” “Great High Priest,” “Chief Shepherd”—even if still profound in implication. Others are not so obvious in their meaning, like “Rose of Sharon,” “Seed of a Woman,” “Morning Star.” But I’d like to focus on one name He called Himself: “Light of the World.”

The object of light is an amazing thing and can serve many different purposes: to bring comfort, joy and hope; to make a pathway safe and clear; and to reveal what is not easily seen. These apply to our Savior, too.

We have many of expressions about light and its capacity to make gloomy, scary or stressful situations better (“a bright spot,” “light at the end of the tunnel,” “sunshine on a cloudy day”). In Luke 2, the angel told the shepherds that the coming of the Messiah was great news, “tidings of comfort and joy.” Though it doesn’t manifest in a literally visible manner, I’ve often experienced the presence of my Savior as a comfort, a light shining in my darkest hours. I pray that in whatever difficult circumstances you face today, you’d find Him to be a comforting Light in your world.

Light guides us, helps us find our way. I’ve had the dreadful experience of driving at night with substandard headlights. Not fun. Our God promises to help us navigate the journey we are on as does a well-placed nightlight. Certainly, we experience such guidance as we follow the basic principles laid out in Scripture that help shape the moral framework by which we make decisions and conduct ourselves. But it also happens in day-to-day experiences as we ask for wisdom and direction. “(He) came from Heaven to Earth to show the way.” In whatever decisions you face, questions you have, may He be a guiding Light in your world.

Finally, light can be the great revealer. It can help us see that stain on our favorite shirt, the cause of that smell in the back of the fridge or where we left our keys. Christ came to reveal the hearts of people. Again, looking at Luke 2, Simeon prophesies that Jesus will reveal secret thoughts. Sometimes such revelations are a source of joy as we discover gifts we have or resources we didn’t know were available. It can also be hard as we become aware of our character defects, our lack of faith or our limited abilities. In whatever He is showing you, let Him be a revealing Light in your world. And may you also know His mercy, patience and grace in that process.

In this Advent season, may the Light of the World brighten your spirit, illuminate your path and enlighten your understanding.