by Christine Sine
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:1-5 NLT)
I read these words as Tom and I took off from Seattle for an early morning flight to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago. Then I looked outside the window and was awed by the sunrise over Mt Rainier – light emerging in the darkness. Such a powerful reminder, a bringer of hope and anticipation to my soul. Light DOES shine in the darkness, I thought and NOTHING will extinguish it.
I went on to read:
Our world, our lives, are punctuated and permeated by the divine presence. We need to live in the reality of this, rather than the illusion that the world, our inner world, is still in darkness. We need not feel like we are abandoned by God in a world of darkness… The Word which spoke from without now speaks from within …. For us, post-Incarnation human beings, this processionals (of transformation) has already begun” (Celtic Advent 732)
As we head towards Christmas this week through the last days of Advent it is so reassuring to know that nothing will ever extinguish the light of God, either in our hearts and in our world.
This year seems to have been filled with so much darkness- so many mass shootings that we have lost count; so much heartache for migrant families hoping for a new life in countries that do not want them; hurricanes, droughts, fires that have extinguished life before its time, the threats of climate change, political upheaval and animosity have all overwhelmed us, often with despair. The darkness seems to shroud our world and drain our hope.
Yet there is hope. God’s newness is emerging and will one day burst into our world like the sun rising in a new dawn. That is the hope of Advent and the promise of Christmas that still shines brightly in our hearts and in the dark dawn of our lives.
Interestingly as we flew back to Seattle a couple of days later, we landed as the sun was setting and this was the scene outside my window. Wow — not only does the light shine in the darkness of the dawn but it also illumines the darkness of the sunset. So much hope and promise in these images.
Newness Is On The Way
As I thought about all of this, the following prayer bubbled up within me:
God of promise and hope and renewal,
God of love and joy and life.
Plant seeds of light within us.
Let them emerge from the darkness,
like the sun rising with the dawn,
giving new life,
where none seemed possible.
Newness is on its way.
Your Word, spoken from without,
Now flames within.
Your light birthed,
in the darkest places of our world,
and the hidden cracks of our souls.
Let the brightness of your Son shine,
In us, through us, around us.
Let your Spirit nourish and grow it,
until wholeness pushes up
through the broken surface of things,
and green shoots emerge
with the promise of life and hope and truth.
What Is Your Response
Watch the video below. Listen to the words and contemplate the new life within you and within this world that God planted through the incarnation of Christ. What does “newness of life” mean for your you? How have you planted seeds of light during and this Advent season and how do you anticipate living out this newness in the Christmas season?