I cannot help but be intrigued by the statement from the prophet Isaiah, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light” (Is. 9:2a CEB). Notice, the passage never describes what the “great light” looks like. For all we know, there is a magnificent appearance of something that pierces the darkness of the soul, a transformative reality that leaves behind the ravages of despair and pain. Hope replaces despair. The heaviness of oppression surrenders to the spirit of freedom.
But what form does the light take? For years I read the passage with my mind’s eye envisioning a sense of joy and excitement, a fresh new start. While feelings are great and do make one engage the promise of a new day, I get caught up in filling in the blanks of what freedom looks like for me. I forget that God gives the gift, and it is not mine to assume how the Divine delivers grace, nor what form hope may take. It is my experience that what I receive from the Holy One is much better than I imagined. The gift of God is freedom from sin in every circumstance. My job is not to expect grace in a certain way but rejoice that the gift of God comes to me, no matter the package, no matter the bow. Take the love shared and maintain an attitude of gratitude.
During this season of Advent, may you experience a “great light” as you step out of the darkness and into a world of promise. May hope and joy overwhelm you as you surrender your life over to the care of God. May all things appear brighter, bolder, richer. May you know the reason for the season – the love that the Divine pours out on humanity.