Advent 1:3, The Everlasting Light

Light one purple candle.
Read: Isaiah 60:1-3, 19-20; John 5:35-36

“The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.” (Isaiah 60:19-20)

“John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:35-36)

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One of the things we tend to take for granted in our super-modern society is the light bulb. Think about it. With the power of the light bulb we get up in the mornings, staring at our lit alarm clocks until we decide to arise and turn on our bedroom or bathroom lights. We read our morning paper often by the power of the bulb and jump in our cars where the car clock tells us exactly how late we are. We office under the power of the light bulb and drive home at night using its darkness-piercing power. Indeed, there are fewer moments more terrifying than a nighttime power outage.

But light bulbs have at least one major flaw (likely many more). They burn out. Even the most expensive of halogen bulbs will eventually die. Sometimes they die with a pop, other times with a sizzle, but they always die. Not so with the light of Jesus Christ. One of the neat features of the Advent wreath set-up is its emphasis on light. It starts with one candle and then grows to two. Then three candles burn at the same time and then four. By Christmas Day all five candles are burning and the light of the Advent wreath is at its height.

Our Lord will always stand as light where darkness exists. To believe in Him and follow Him will always be the better choice. Decisions become clearer, obstacles appear, and fears fade away in the light of Christ. And His light is not a temporary thing, not like the light of John the Baptist. I love Jesus’ words in John 5, when He talks about His authority and the authority of John. He says that John’s light — his power, influence and discernment — burned like a lamp and the people enjoyed it. But John’s lamp burned out, just like one of my light bulbs. Jesus’ light, though, would always burn like an everlasting light.

In Isaiah 60 and in Revelation 21 we see the light of the Lord shining even in heaven, where darkness does not exist. Even when we are fellowshipping with Him in glory, He is still lighting our way. What a glorious picture!

Be God’s.

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