It has been so long since last I wrote anything here. Sorry. Not that you're waiting on pins and needles or anything for something to appear here. Right now the only appearance we all long for (even those of us who don't know it) is the Light, the Lamb, the Savior, our Lord Jesus. We live in a time between the times of His incarnation, which we celebrate this month, and His drawing-ever-more-near return.
During this in-between-time, we ache. We experience the simple aches and pains of life--too much exercise, not enough exercise, growing older and bodies not as spry as they used to be, being young and playing too much. We also see and sometimes experience the horror and terror of a darkened world--starvation and war, innocent children killed in school. It is so dark sometimes.
There was a prophetic silence before Christ's birth--it was a dark time. There is still darkness in our world during this time between the times. The church continues to shine a light but it too is sometimes wounded by the darkness of sin and selfishness. Still in as much as it (we) abides in Christ, it shines His light into the dark corners of our lives and into the world--which God loves so much that the incarnation became a reality in the first place. What a wonder! [As a couple of ministers up in Massillon, OH have written, the God who is FOR us and WITH us became ONE OF us and will abide IN us if we submit and invite (my paraphrase)--check out ONE OF by clicking here.]
So here we are in the dark waiting, wondering, hoping. John taught us, "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it" (John 1:5-NIV) which could also be translated as "overcome" or "taken down" or "put out" like Peterson translates it in the Message version: "The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out."
This Life-Light which first blazed in Jesus is the light in which we walk, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12-ESV). So while it may not make sense to a darkened world we choose to blaze and speak forth a "Merry Christmas!" not as a trite greeting spoken at this time of year but as a grand declaration of hope that Christ's first appearance (God's Word in flesh appearing!) signals that all darkness will one day be expunged forever. He is returning. Shine forth hope. Maranatha. Come quickly Lord Jesus.