In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. John 1:1-8
Oh, how I wish I could experience the first line in "Twas The Night Before Christmas" where no creatures were stirring, not even a mouse. A few minutes of quiet is at the top of my holiday wish list. Why? Our youngest daughter, Paige, has a hard time going to, and staying, asleep. Unfortunately, she's a sleep dictator in that when Paige can't get some shuteye no one can.
A typical night looks something like this: Paige comes bursting into the room, flips on the light and makes her presence known. "MOM...DAD...I can't sleep." Great, so I guess we're all up now.
The presence of light awakens us from our slumber. Welcoming our new surroundings isn't so easy. We squint and moan as it takes a few moments for our eyes to adjust to the light. Paige begins to rattle off her ailments: an upset tummy, a bad dream, worried about school, etc. All of her words go in one ear and out the other due to us being disoriented. The only thing we want to do is throw the covers over our heads and go back to sleep.
The hope of Christmas is that light shined into the darkness, but the darkness did not overcome it. Just like Paige, hope came unannounced, whether we were ready for it or not. In a dusty old manger in Bethlehem, Christ made His presence known to the world. The light came to expose our heart and open our eyes to new hope.
During this Advent season, as we prepare our hearts for the entry of God into humanity, an adjustment period is needed. Newness entails orienting our eyes, our heart, and our mind towards it. At times, everything in us will want to throw the covers over our head and get back to sleepwalking through life.
His arrival will be a disturbance to our old way: old patterns of thinking, old habits of responding, old avenues we go down looking for hope, old ways of dealing with bad habits and difficult people.
Transformation doesn't happen without disruption. Old things don't go away easily. The new will disrupt the old. But, it's a beautiful disruption that brings life and freedom as we surrender the old in light of the new. Walking in the light as He is in the light is the only way to defeat darkness.
Where do your eyes need to adjust to the light Christ provides? What would it look like for His light to pierce those circumstances?
God, today, I will adjust my eyes to Your light. I will gladly come into the light and risk the exposure of my darkness. I do so because I know it's in that place I will be met with Your grace, forgiveness, and love. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.