“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” — 2 Corinthians 4:6; Romans 13:12
Wreath Directions: Light one purple candle on your advent wreath.
Read Aloud: 2 Corinthians 4:6; Romans 13:12; Eph. 5:8-9; 1 Thess. 5:5
Suggested Carol: Good Christian Men, Rejoice!
The Light of the World has come, and He has shared His light with us. What should be our proper response? To walk as He walked and put aside our natural cravings for the things of darkness (a.k.a. sin). The above verses all come from the apostle Paul, who once saw that glorious light of Jesus Christ when he was a murderous Jewish “sheriff ” on the road to Damascus, Syria, where he was set on capturing and torturing Christians.
“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)
It was that light of Jesus that ushered in a complete change in his life, turning him from a murderous zealot to a grace-filled apostle. Read his words to young Timothy, his disciple:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 1:12-14)
Paul knew what it meant to be without the light of Christ. He knew what it was like to walk in darkness. Most of you know what that was like as well. But now he was a new creature in Christ, just like you and I, and the darkness no longer has total control over him. He had a choice: walk in darkness or walk in the Light.
We, too, have this choice. And as the first week of Advent draws to a close tomorrow, it is important to hammer home one very important application. It is found in the verses I listed before this article. The same God who made the heavens and earth (and He did) and said, “Let there be light” has enlightened our hearts so that we can know Him through Jesus Christ. And because we know Him, we have received His light and no longer walk in darkness. We belong to it no longer.
So walk in the light as He is in the Light. And know that even when we stumble and fall, we still have the light of Christ in our lives. All we need to do is let it shine. Walk in the light of whom you know to be true. The Light of the World.
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation. We give You thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with You in Your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”