The stories of Jesus’s birth are full of light. Light in the darkness is an archetypal image of human yearning. It is no accident that when Christians in the fourth century formally decided on the date of Jesus’s birth, they chose the winter solstice: the time when light begins to vanquish the darkness. The birth stories and the gospels and the New Testament as a whole emphasize that what happened in Jesus is the fulfillment of our deepest longings. Advent should be about all of this. It is a season of anticipation, yearning and longing for a different kind of life and a different kind of world.
Think of the symbolism of light in the darkness. Consider the meaning of the gospel message in the world. Think of Jesus’ call to his followers to be light in the world. What is it saying and what is the implication for Christians?
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.
The lights of the Christmas tree remind us that Jesus is the light of the world, the light of our souls that drives away the darkness of hatred and makes room for forgiveness.
All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.
St. Francis of Assisi
Small lights have a way of being seen in a dark world.
Neal A. Maxwell
Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.
We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does.
Dwight L. Moody