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Scripture Focus: John 2.8-9
I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.
Reflection: The God of Light, in the Dark
By John Tillman
We may, at times, speak of darkness as an analogy for evil or for sin, and biblical authors do as well. However, actual darkness is not evil in itself. God created light and darkness and rules in each equally. We hide our sins in darkness, but only out of our ignorance. Darkness hides nothing from God. Our sins hidden in the dark, to God, may as well be in a spotlight before the world.
It is God, says the psalmist, who gives songs in the night and through the darkness of the heavens pours forth speech. In this way, the movements of the heavens were chosen by the ancient church as a teaching tool to show us God’s light coming into the world at the time of gathering darkness.
The darkness is not dark to our God. He is moving in the darkness, coming closer to us than we could stand him being. The presence of his glory is too much for us. The knowledge of his holiness is to great for us. The full light of his presence, is blinding to us. So, God draws down the veil of dark at the end of the year. He creeps up to us cautiously and secretly, so that we can be close to him.
The time of Advent, of waiting in the deepening darkness, may seem to us as if we are huddled around the waning light in fear of evil. But the dark is also used by God to herd us close and near, so that he can intimately, softly, and gently reveal himself to us.
This is the glory of the incarnation— that God draws us in and shows us the fullness of who he is and what he is like in the form of a baby. He was hidden in the darkness of the womb, hidden in the darkness of the night of his birth, hidden in the arms of peasants from the eyes of the powerful. He was revealed to the outcasts, the unworthy, the foreigners, and the humble.
So may he be revealed to us. So, may we wait—humble, outcast, huddled in intimacy, hearing God’s approach in the dark. Come, Lord Jesus.
Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
Jesus said: “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved… — John 3.16-17
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
2 Chronicles 2 (Listen -3:41)
1 John 2 (Listen -4:04)
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