I have been thinking about light this week as I prepared my sermon for Sunday. It is the background, the filter through which all the other words came.

Light was the focus, it was the illumination and it was all around. Lighting the advent candle each week brings us closer to the time of Christmas.

The candles which are hope, peace, joy and love are a focus for us. As we focus on them and visualise what those words means in our lives the scripture passages in this time of advent come alive.

The OT passage of Isaiah’s peaceful kingdom, the gospel reading of the ministry of John the Baptist and the epistle, Paul which is about plans and church and how we do it. It brings the OT and the new together and wraps it up in the gifts of joy, peace, love and hope.

“Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliance than justice.”

Miguel de Cervantes

A candle gives us light to see, a FB friend shared how to make a candle into a room heater. Candles gives off heat. Warmth.

Light and heat.

There was a guy on a ship suffering most terribly from the mal de mer when he heard shouts of man overboard. As he lay in his bed he felt weak and helpless but had the idea of putting a light in the porthole, so struggled to do it and then collapsed back onto the bed and went off to sleep.

Two days later he recovered and joined the other guests for breakfast and one of the other passengers was explaining how he fell over board and thought he was a goner when a light from a window bathed the water around him in a glow, he saw the lifebuoy and at the same time someone from the ship saw his hand reach out to it and he was saved.

We might feel weak and helpless, unable to cope, but there is a light that can reach out into our darkness and provide both illumination and warmth.

The Light of the World stepped down from heaven in order that we might be saved. He didn’t come as a triumphal king but chose to enter the world as a vulnerable helpless child.

Living with Jesus means living in the light, it means that a light be shone into the recesses of my life, I am an open book, transparent and there is nothing in my life I could not talk to God about or let other people see.

My past life, that is life full of black mould pervading the walls of my life, no matter how hard I tried to get clean, I just could not do it. Only by turning to the Light that is Christ and ask his help in cleaning me, could I change, could I become clean.

So often we think we have to be clean first before meeting with the Living God but that is so the opposite. We cannot clean ourselves, it is only through the blood of Christ that we become clean, right with God.

Advent is a time of heart checks, a time of slow devotional time, a time of deep spiritual inward looking.

And what a time we choose for this – everyone is rushing buying the perfect gift, the perfect dinner, the perfect everything. There will be no perfection in these things, these material possessions.

There is only perfection in God, in advent we draw closer to him, following the light, sensing the warmth.

Dear Lord

I thank you that you did come to earth, that you grew up from a baby to a man and that you changed the world and you changed my world. I seek your counsel on many issues, I seek your wisdom and understanding, I seek your strength and power to hold steadfast in this storm. Ever faithful, ever true, thank you Lord for your truth and the gift of faith you bestowed on me. I love you.