Monday, December 12, 2016
The Light has Come Ruth Smith Meyer
Today I’m going to share much of the narration written for our choir to present with music we’ve sung over the years. Of course you don’t have the advantage of hearing the songs that interspersed the narration, but I hope you will catch the flicker of light, the hope that the coming of the Christ Child can shed on whatever darkness you may experience this season. May you understand and rejoice.
The Light Has Come
When God’s people were taken into exile, the voices of the prophets stilled, it seemed to them that they were walking in darkness. Isaiah 59:9 says, “We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness but we walk in deep shadows.”
We can understand that. There is so much darkness in our world today, we sometimes despair as must have those waiting for the coming of the Messiah.
Darkness is a lonely, daunting place to be. In the darkness, everything we face seems worse; every pain bourgeons in severity. Positive thought is difficult to grasp.
The dawn of a new day brings hope, but even in the dark of the night, if we listen, God will whisper hope to us and there will be a flicker of light.
As Christmas nears, even as we sing and rejoice, we need to be prepared.
Prepared for what?
To have the answer to our dreams, our hopes, our expectations be different than what we imagined. Who would have thought the coming of a king could happen in a stable?
Yet Christ was born in a simple stable in the dark of night, and there came a glimmer of light. God chose a simple stable to shelter the King.
And in the darkness of our uncertainty, in situations and settings unexpected, the light will begin to dawn: God will whisper hope to us. We may experience that hope as we behold the Child of Bethlehem—God’s gift of love.
There must have been a glimmer of light in the breast of Mary at the coming of the promised child; Joseph must have felt the dawn of light as the words spoken to him in a dream months ago were fulfilled that night.
But the light could not be contained in that dark stable in Bethlehem. It burst into the very heavens, seen by simple shepherds and kings from afar.
Even so, the Light wants to burst into our darkness, to shine the light of love into our lives. As we open our hearts to that light, we will want to join the angels with our praise and sing our Gloria to God.
The mighty chorus rang good news through the heavens. The shepherds, when they heard the message the angels brought to them, were moved to action. “Let’s go see what the angels have told us.”
They found him in a manger, an unassuming, humble place, a little baby born, as all babies, with a lot of possibility and much mystery surrounding the prospect of what would come to be. Looking at that tiny babe, not yet was there understanding that as John’s gospel says that “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” One would wonder, How can that be?
What do we do when we hear good news? Are we curious but stay where we are, or do we, too, act on the message we hear? Do we get up and follow?
John knew our confusion for he added: “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
We can sing our glorias and rejoice but to truly dispel the darkness, to open our understanding, to make our hallelujahs really ring, we must start with offering our hearts as mangers to receive a new life—the gift of love and light.
Our hearts—unassuming, humble, and what we may think to be shockingly unsuitable places for the birth of something so divine and royal—yet our hearts are exactly where God wishes to come to be Emmanuel—God with us.
That is perhaps why God chose to be born as a helpless baby. He wants to come to us in an unthreatening way, small enough for us to handle, but packed with possibility and bursting with promise. Possibilities that will be revealed as we grow in relationship with him, walking in the Light he shines on our pathway.
It’s up to us to decide whether we want to be filled with his light and reflect the Light of Life to the world around us. Do we want to ask Jesus to make our hearts a manger for his presence?
If we do, we will want to share it with others. It’s hard not to share good news so be invigorated to action. Yes, do go and tell!
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