Joy: Week Three – Day Three

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined. – Isaiah 9:2 (NRSV)

This time of year, the world is full of lights. There are twinkling lights on the Christmas tree and flickering flames in the Advent wreath. There are great big light extravaganzas down the street and dainty icicle lights on the house next door. There are candles in the windows and headlights on cars. As the song goes, “City street lights, even stop lights dressed in holiday style.” We need light this time of year because the days are short, and the nights are long.

This year might have felt pretty dark to you. We have been engulfed by the uncertainty of COVID-19, and it has amplified our preexisting fears. Maybe you once feared not making the team, and now you’re afraid there won’t be a team. Maybe you once feared not being able to get into the right college. Now, you’re not sure how well college and coronavirus mix. We have been walking in the dark for most of the year – never knowing what the next day would bring. For most of us, darkness is terrifying, but we’re even more afraid that any light in our life will be destroyed by the darkness.

Author Brené Brown says this about the darkness: “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” Think about it this way, there is no way a shadow can ever overcome the light. The smallest amount of light – the tiniest good thing – shines even brighter and becomes even more noticeable in the depths of the dark. If we spend time worrying about the dark, worrying about the bad things, we are letting go of our own joy.

For those of us who call themselves the people of God, our great light this Christmas is the boy child Jesus. He is the Light of the World, and if you are following Jesus you will never have to worry about the dark.

As you go about your day today, keep your eyes peeled for Christmas lights and candles. Maybe even find a bright spot around your house. Ask yourself, what does it mean for Jesus to be the Light of the World, and what does it mean for Jesus to be my light in the darkness?

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