Today we complete our season of Advent, preparing our hearts for Christmas. Our theme this year is “Let There Be Light!” All throughout Scripture God is said to be light and to radiate light and to shine light, overcoming the darkness in our world and in our hearts.
Because Christ has already come to us once and brought light into this world, the white Christ Candle was lit before the Advent season began. Throughout the season, we have lit the Candle of Hope, the Candle of Peace, and the Candle of Joy.
Today we light the final candle, the Candle of Love, and take our Scripture from 1 John 1:5-7:
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But 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.
On Friday, the USA along with the rest of the northern hemisphere observed the Winter Solstice, which is the longest day of darkness in the year, making for a very fitting time to celebrate Jesus’ birth just a few days later on December 25. Every year we are reminded that at the moment of our greatest darkness, God has shone a light for us in the birth of Jesus Christ.
In our great darkness, Jesus came and walked AS the light. You and I are then called to walk IN the light. But, how do we do that? Our Scripture here says that we walk IN the light by walking WITHthe Light. In other words, by walking WITH Jesus. When we choose to walk in obedience to Jesus and keep His commandments, we are walking with Jesus and in the light.
But this walk is not just a work of the mind. It’s also a work of the heart. You see, Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” So, as you keep Jesus’ commandments and walk in the light, you are expressing love for Jesus.
And so today we light the Candle of Love. This Christmas and every day thereafter, may you go walk in the light and demonstrate a great love for Jesus who so lovingly provided the light. From our family to yours, “Merry Christmas!”
(Light the 3rd purple candle)