I was standing deep in a cave without a flashlight. And truly, it was the darkest place I had ever been. I had wanted to go into that cave so badly! I had told my family as we vacationed in Hawaii, “I want to go into it and explore..
It looked so cool and craggy from the outside.
They just shrugged. They were lolling on the beach…They didn’t want to come
So I went into the cave by myself…It looked small from the outside so I didn’t realize how far back it went. It just kept going and going…back…back and back. Cool I thought! This is awesome exploring the unknown! I’ve always had a sort of reckless side to me that wants to go and explore something where no one else has ever been!
For awhile I could see because of the broad opening of the cave to the daylight at the front end where I had entered,. But finally, as I took a turn and the light slipped away I realized I could not see at all; Not one little thing… And I stood there paralyzed…
I began to get squeamish wondering what was hanging above my head. What was squishing underneath my feet…and where I should put my hands to hold my balance. I needed a light but did not have one.. I had not thought that far ahead.
Luckily I was not the only one who had decided to explore the cave that day; in a few minutes someone came up behind me. They had a little teeny flashlight.
Don’t you have a light? They asked me…
I shook my head stupidly “no.”
“Here, we will help you” they said shining the tiny little beam in my direction.
That tiny little light changed everything. It got me out of the cave. It helped me see what I couldn’t see before… It took away my fear, and it led me to safety.
When light moves in, in the midst of darkness, even a little tiny beam of light, it makes a big impact! It changes everything. It saves lives, and it shows you what is really going on around you
When Jesus entered the world as the LIGHT of the world, it changed everything too. It had a big impact…
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
What kind of light did the people who walked in darkness see? A tiny little beam of white light shining from weak batteries in a cheap flashlight? No. Even that little light in the cave made a huge difference for me…cause any light in a dark situation is so desperately needed. The light of Christ was a GREAT LIGHT…do you see that in Isaiah’s prophecy? The people who walked in darkness have seen a GREAT LIGHT.
What kind of darkness was it that people were walking in?
Twilight? Hazy Mist? Partly Cloudy? No… DEEP DARKNESS….
Deep darkness is when you can’t see at all; the people Isaiah is referring are walking in it. They are walking in DEEP DARKNESS.
How can you do that? There are hazards all around you that you don’t know are there. You might be going the wrong way. You might fall off a cliff. You might walk into pit. Who knows? You have no way of telling what might be out there ready to pounce on you, or what is in your way that you might trip over and crack your head on. Also, chances are, deep darkness means you don’t have a clue as to where you are going. You can’t see or know your direction.
Walking in the darkness is scary business and confusing and just stupid What is implied here is that people don’t know they are in darkness – otherwise they wouldn’t be walking around. Right?
When the power goes out, and the streets are dark, you don’t say “Oh, now is a great time to walk around the neighborhood.” No way! If you can’t see where you are going…you don’t take a walk. You stay put until you can find some kind of a light source.
DEEP DARKNESS is contrasted with a GREAT LIGHT because we are supposed to get a clue as to the great impact Jesus made when he came to the world.
God’s GREAT LIGHT entering into our DEEP DARKNESS means we need to adjust to the light
If you’ve been in a dark room for a long time and then you go out into the sun, what happens? Your eyes have to adjust to the light. The contrast is so great you actually can’t see anything for awhile.
In the same way we celebrate the season of Advent to prepare ourselves for the coming of the LIGHT OF CHRIST. Why don’t we just jump into Christmas and celebrate away? Why all this Advent stuff…this waiting and anticipating? Well, Advent is supposed to be a time of preparation…adjusting our eyes so that we can see what this GREAT LIGHT is trying to reveal to us. At this time of Advent we pray a little more, we have extra devotional material, we might spend more time in the scriptures. We celebrate Advent so that we can take in this Christmas event gradually and prayerfully so that when Christmas comes – when the GREAT LIGHT appears we will be able to truly celebrate and see who Jesus is and why he came in a deeper fuller way. I’d like you to pray for that this Christmas. I’d like you pray that Christmas will be a time when Jesus’ Great Light – the light of his presence - will dawn upon your heart and you will be able to see him, with greater clarity and truth. Will you do that?
Adjusting to the light for you might be as simple as recognizing the reality of God’s closeness to you this Christmas and reaching out to him with renewed faith.
Let’s all adjust to THE GREAT LIGHT this season. Have a wonderful Advent.