Saturday, December 10, 2016

Let there be Light

Sunrise at Browns Bridge Church.
It begins before I'm actually coherent--an awareness of a new beginning, the slow dawn of comprehension.

Here we go again.

I lean hard into bliss, trying to retain my hold on the fleeting moment of innocence--when I was ignorant to the light. But placing my head under my pillow or turning my back to the window only delays, but does not deter, the inevitable.

I have to face what I would like to pretend doesn't exist.

I could hang blackout curtains but I don't.

In my first house, I had blinds, vinyl shades I'd pull down to deter the light's gentle, yet persistent advance against the night. But the light did what light always does--it invaded the darkness, streamed in around the edges, and made its presence known, undeniable.

Light can only be what it is, and all it represents is a choice. It or darkness.

Some feel our country has seen the light; others believe we are entering a time of unprecedented darkness. And it's Christmastime, supposedly a season to celebrate the coming of the Light. Instead, friends experience heartache and pain, and strangers in Aleppo, Mosul, brothels, and forgotten neighborhoods are trapped by darkness that seems to be looming large.

I open my Book to the words of Isaiah, seeking enlightenment, and I'm blinded by the declaration of the ancient prophet:

"The people living in darkness have seen a great light; 
on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned." 

He speaks as though it has already happened. The people were living in darkness. The perpetual shadow of death had cast its gloom over them. Then a great light dawned, and they saw it.

But the advent of this prophesied Light hadn't already occurred when Isaiah spoke about it. In fact, the people he referred to continued to live and die in darkness. God was silent for 400 years. 

Four hundred years.
Then, when the fullness of time had come, Zechariah, another holy man, echoed Isaiah's words about the Light Incarnate:

"...the Rising Sun 
will come to us from heaven 
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, 
to guide our feet into the path of peace."

And the Rising Sun came, just a few months later. The Light Incarnate was Jesus and He burst forth into a dark, cold night. His life was the Light that showed mankind the way out of darkness and ushered in the reality of everlasting peace. He offered all a simple choice: Light instead of darkness. Life instead of death.


Once we've been awakened, once the Light has dawned, it's almost impossible to return to sleep. The light doesn't care if we're not ready to begin another time around the circle. It is immune to our frustration, our desire to believe it hasn't arrived.

Dawn breaks anyway, and we are forced to deal with it.

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