The Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 9:6-7, John 8:12-19, Philippians 4:4-9

We are sheltered from the dark. For the most of us, light is but a moment away, whether it is the dining room light or a flashlight. If you’ve ever spent a night out in the wilderness with a new moon (i.e., completely shaded by the Earth, and not giving off light), you experienced a wild darkness. In darkness, even in the “safe” darkness of our homes, our hearing becomes more sensitive, and we have a tendency to jump at noises that we don’t even notice in the day.

“It is better to light the candle than to curse the darkness,” said William L. Watkinson in his sermon, “The Invincible Strategy.” The Christian doesn’t turn a blind eye to the darkness that covers the world. Instead, the Christian chooses to bear the light of Christ into the world. In a dark room, a candle can shed enough light to make us feel more comfortable. When confronted by darkness, light brings us peace.

In a similar way, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, brought light into the world, and our lives. The light of Christ, if we allow it, burns away the darkness inside of us that often seems to overtake us. When the light of Christ pushes away the dark, we can rest in the warmth of Christ and find peace. How this works is a spiritual mystery. That it works is testified to by generations of Christ followers.

Yet, we often are the worst quenchers of Christ’s light in ourselves and others. Whether it’s through envy, greed, pain (physical/emotional/spiritual), accident, orerror, many things can quench the light of Christ in others. We can quench our own light by putting too much emphasis on the ways (and errors) of the world and others, and continually looking left, right, backwards, forwards, instead of looking up to Christ.

1) How is our comfort in the dark at home, similar to the struggles we have living a Christian life?

2) We often compare ourselves to others, or hold ourselves to a very high standard, when carrying the light of Christ. How is that good? How is that bad? What is the dividing point between good and bad?

3/KD) Being the light can be quite simple, but we often make it hard for ourselves, and for others. What is something simple that you will do today to be the light of Christ for someone else? What will you do tomorrow?