Sunday last, the season of Advent began. Advent is here! I think Advent has to be my favorite time of year. When leaves burnt scarlet flutter earthward and the temperature drops low, I find myself being drawn to candles. Candles fascinate… Remember the amazement and child-like wonder in watching a candle burn… striking match with sulfurous flash… awaiting the slow ignition of waxed cotton into flame. Intently mesmerized by the flickering flare dancing rhythmically to complex melody… it is a comfort, a tangible sensation of home and all that is right in the world.
Light in general, is exciting to us. Think about it… Winking, twinkling stars warm the nights cold, black canvas lulling us to somber… blazing fireplace or campfire in deep wood, cracking, popping with delight and all too quickly turning to silent glowing embers… and of course, candles burning. Candles compel even the most oblivious moth. Yet, Advent is more than the light of burning luminaries… it is more than that… much more… it’s the consuming thirst… deep longing bursting forth from the center of a bounding heart compelling action… to seek the One, the Holy One. We are drawn to Him. He draws us, calls us, and beckons us to come. It is the fellowship of intimate prayer and communion with the Creator of all things.
Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24), but the season of Advent is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ in His First Advent (coming), and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in His Second Advent (coming). Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God.
In the New Testament Jesus, is often called a luminary, a fire, light (to shine or make manifest, especially by rays (Strong’s concordance).
In the book of Luke, we see God described in this way:
“He is a light that will reveal salvation to the nations and bring glory to your people Israel” Luke 2: 32.
But John, disciple of Jesus, witness to the heavenly realm and inspired by God, wrote most about Jesus, the light. It is written: “In Him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it … The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”, John 1:4-5; 9-13.
Jesus our luminary, our candle and flame shines out into the darkness, into your darkness and beckons to you. Christ says, Come. “Come to me in child-like wonder. Come to me, I know your struggles. Come. I know your hurts. I know your darkness. Come. I know you. I created you. Come. I created you for tender fellowship with me, the Holy One, Creator of all things. I am Light. Come. I am tangible comfort. Seek me and gaze into my flame. Come and dance with me. You will be home.”
Come, Lord Jesus! Come and visit your people. We await your coming. Come, O Lord. Come!