Our Advent Scripture passage for Day 14 is Luke 1:18-25.
“How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”
The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. Now listen! You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept making signs to them and remained speechless. When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, “The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people.”
It is surprising how much a few glow sticks can brighten a room.
Tonight, our family activity was playing with glow sticks in vibrant colors. For more than two hours, Jackson and Lauren leaped, twirled, danced and were mesmerized by the glow. Streams of light seemed to hang in the air when the sticks moved back and forth, like hummingbird wings. We twisted the sticks into circles, and threw the frisbees of light across the room. After we were spent from our play, the kids took glow baths, with the soft light emanating under the bubbles. Then the kids and I hid under the covers with the glow sticks and cuddled and talked.
Watching the colors stream across our living room resonated with me, especially because of the terrible event that unfolded today in Connecticut. This world we live in has grown so dark. The blackness of the night around us can be unbearable. Our light, given to us from the Light of the World, is desperately needed. Just a few glow sticks can make tremendous difference. In order for us to shine brightly, however, the hardness and callousness in our lives must be broken so that God’s light can flow unhindered.
I cannot change evil. But, I can allow God’s power, love and mercy to flow through my life. God’s light dissipates darkness.
Shine your light, O Lord, and bring peace beyond our understanding this Christmas.