Prophecy. Words of the past echoing into the future, calling out for things yet to come. Words that are a promise of God, filling a void in our hearts and souls. Words that bring truth, words that bring hope.
Hope. The first Sunday of advent marks the celebration and remembrance of the hope God has given. The hope marked by the birth of a child. A hope foretold in prophecy.
Prophecy and hope. Isaiah the prophet spoke the word of the Lord in a time of darkness. In the midst of the darkness he brought a word of hope.
“The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.”
Hope. Hope for a light to break through the darkness. A light that comes, not with pomp or grandeur, but through the quiet gift of a child. A child that brings light, bears light, is light. The child that is the light of the world, the light the darkness can never overcome.
“For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
There is often a quiet shift that happens in my soul as I near the first day of December. An anticipation of the coming season rises as I look forward to the approach of Christmas. I find at Christmas time I savour the evenings and nights more, when the house is quiet and the lights are out, and all that is left is the twinkling of the tree. The hundred of little lights sparkling, twinkling, their light softly moving through the darkness. And each of those little lights twinkles out the miracle of the Christ-child – God’s true light, that casts out all darkness. The miracle of the Christ-child – God incarnate – came down to walk among us, our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace.
The child foretold. The child of prophecy. The child of hope. The hope so desperately needed. In a world that is hurting and broken, Christ shines as our hope. Christmas beckons us towards that hope. With the ache and swell of the soul that beckons us towards a child. The Child – the Christ-Child. Our hope in the darkness. Christmas reminds us that there is an answer to this ache. That there is hope.