BY REV. CORY L. KEMP |
As you read these words we are experiencing the Winter Solstice, the day every year that holds the most darkness and the least light. It is no surprise that so much of our Advent journey is about remembering and beckoning the Light into our lives as we await the birth of Christ.
Sometimes that Light is easy and familiar, like Christmas tree decorations, Moravian Stars and Advent wreaths.
Unpacking these, organizing them and putting them in their proper places is an effort that requires time, patience and a willingness to adjust to them like beloved, long-term guests. But we like this stuff, right? It’s beautiful, nostalgic and poignantly nurtures us with memories and hopes all at once.
Sometimes that Light challenges us.
What makes you anxious or even downright scared? Is there a way for you to allow the Light to turn its beacon of hope or courage toward your fear to diminish it, perhaps even heal it? Is there something you avoid doing because you don’t think you’re good at it? Could you find another way, maybe with a little more strength at the ready, to try the task again? Turning your own attention to something is also a way of shedding light on it, looking at it differently, and at yourself differently.
Sometimes the Light illuminates us, makes us shine in ways we never imagined.
In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth, Joseph does not initially present as much more than a decent guy willing to part ways with Mary and move on.
“But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ’Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.” (Matthew 1:20-25)
Sometimes the Light guides us.
Shepherds and Wise ones experienced the Light of the first Christmas, from angels and stars, and from the New Occupant of the manger they visited that night. Sailors have used the stars for navigational purposes for as long as we know. You and I pay attention to the scriptures, God’s still small voice within us and observe spiritual clues all around us in our everyday lives, knowing God is at work and pointing us in the right direction. God is always illuminating our paths so we may see and take the next right step.
And always, the Light welcomes us, embraces us, and loves us, even when we feel the deepest darkness in our hearts, minds and souls. God is love, God is Light, and in that are miracles born.
About the Author
The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.