Advent is an ancient tradition of the church that aims to prepare our hearts for Christmas. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “visit.” In the Advent season, we keep in mind both “advents,” both “visits” of Christ, the first when Christ came to us in Bethlehem and the second when He will come again at the end of the age.
Our Advent theme this year is “The Light Has Come.” Because Christ has already come to us once and brought light into this world, the white Christ candle has already been lit and will remain lit the entire Advent season. Today we focus on hope.
The light of hope has come. Isaiah, prophesying about the birth of Jesus, wrote in Isaiah 9, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
We’ve probably all been in that moment where we were engulfed in pitch black darkness, darkness so dark that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. That’s one of the scariest situations to be in and potentially very dangerous. But just a flicker of light in pitch black darkness causes our heart to jump for joy. Even the smallest of lights brings hope to a dark situation.
As we well know, the world around us is a very spiritually dark. But with the birth of Jesus, God shined a great light into our spiritual darkness—not a little light, but great, big, bright light—giving hope to every person who will trust in the light of Jesus.
Jesus is the light of the world, and because He is the light of the world, He is also the hope of the world.
Merry Christmas! And thank God for light!