Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,
“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
It is next to impossible to say anything original about any of the “light” statements made in the Gospels. They have been so thoroughly commented upon by preacher, theologian, devotional writer, poet, etc. that I sit here at zero dark thirty in the morning with my hands up in surrender.
Then I look out the kitchen window. What I see are the lit wreathes hung on every street lamp on Main Street. I can only see a handful as I look down the street as the rest are out of view; in fact it is only four I see. Then it pops into my head, “Four lights leading down the street. There is more beyond what I can see!”
It is Advent 2020. We have four weeks to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ! Advent is not about Christmas as much as it is about Jesus’ return. But we like to move directly to the event of 2000 years ago rather than ponder the promised event yet to come.
Why? I think we try to put Jesus’ second coming out of our minds because we are afraid. We have seen to many Hollywood movies and read to many doomsday books. We have heard to many preachers try to scare the Hell out of us.
Or maybe it is guilt. Maybe we are afraid to face Jesus because he knows if we have bad or good, and we haven’t been good for goodness sake!
My friends, there is good news! The Jesus of the scriptures (yes, including Revelation) is one of Grace, Mercy, Compassion, and Love beyond our ability to comprehend. And if we say we trust him, then what is there to be scared of? His goodness has our badness covered; this is what the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension are all about. Just read the Book!
The early church writings are full of statements of hope and excitement that Jesus will return. But also they speak of disappointment because some of their loved ones are dying, and they are concerned because Jesus hasn’t come back yet. See (1 Corinthians 15) So Paul comforts them that if even he, one untimely born, has been made an apostle of Christ, then they can be assured that Christ’s return will be glorious.
Back to the four lights.
We have a season built into the Christian calendar that celebrates the second coming of Christ. It doesn’t mean that it all ends in four weeks (but it could), but rather it reminds us to end our year knowing there is a lighted path beyond the four lights that are visible even if it isn’t in full view at the moment. But I can tell you that that path is well lit by the Light of Life!
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!“It Is Well with My Soul” (Verse 5)