splendor of light everlasting:
Come and enlighten
those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. And the longest night. Though it is the darkest day, the Advent candles burn brightly. The church calls from the darkness to her Lord, her Dayspring from on high, who is “the joyous light of glory.”
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness. God spoke Light into the darkness. Light is life. Without lLght there is no life. Darkness is death, the silence of God, the absence of God.
Our sin plunged the creation into darkness and death. Sin loves the darkness and hates the light. Sin loves the death and hates the life. Man turned away from God hides in the darkness. Adam hid in the darkness of the trees. Judas betrayed his Lord at night. Sin seeks shelter under the cover of darkness. Darkness cannot produce light. It is nothing, formless and void, empty. Light must be spoken into darkness from the outside.
God sent His Son, the light of the world thrown into darkness. He is the light no darkness can overcome, the light of God’s love, His promise of mercy. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.” Jesus is the Morning Star, the Dayspring, the signal of the coming morning. Day is at hand. The Dayspring has risen. The sun of righteousness rises with healing in His wings. He was born in darkness that we might be reborn as children of the light. He died in darkness that we might live in the light of His life. He rose at dawn to usher in the new day of His resurrection. He shines into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who works through the Word, dispelling the darkness, killing the death, bringing light and life.
Advent calls us out of the darkness to live in the light of Christ, to be the children of the Light that we are. “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The night is over. The Day has dawned. Christ has risen from the dead. He has cast the bright beams of His light upon you.
Flee the darkness. Confess your sin. Expose the darkness, the death, to His light. Cling to the light of His Word. Live in the warm brightness of His Light. “You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”