Advent Hope - Day 3

"And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." - 2 Peter 1:19-21

I love how Eugene Peterson phrases v.19 in The Message (which isn't a translation, but is an excellent paraphrase of Scripture): "We couldn't be more sure of what we saw and heard - God's glory, God's voice.  The prophetic Word was confirmed to us.  You'll do well to keep focusing on it.  It's the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts."

One of the things that I find most awe-inspiring to reflect on during Advent is how much of the Old Testament points towards Jesus.  There are so many Scriptures that talk about Him - what He'll be like, what He'll come to do, where He'll be born...  God told his people, hundreds of years in advance, all about His Son, so that when He came, there could be no real question about it, in the hearts of those who were open to seeing Him at work.  There was certainly no question in Peter's mind as to who He was - Peter had been on a mountain with Jesus and heard the very Voice of God saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35 and 2 Peter 1:17)

This picture Peter paints of what it's like to wait for Jesus - being in a dark place and waiting for daybreak - reminds me of two other passages about Jesus that give me so much hope:

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.  Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn." - Isaiah 60:1-3

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of all men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." - John 1:4-5  (Some translations read "the darkness has not overcome it.")

In the midst of the ever-encroaching darkness of winter as the days become shorter, and in the midst of a world than can sometimes seem darker every day as wickedness maintains a foothold in the hearts of men who are far from Him - we're waiting.  Waiting for the Light.  Waiting for Daybreak.  Waiting for the One who came - to come back.  It's part of the beauty and the mystery of this Advent season - waiting for Christmas, waiting for the day we celebrate the birth of the One who came to save us - yet knowing He's already come, He's here now, and He's coming back again someday.  Darkness will never have the final word.  And so we wait, and hope, and light candles to remind ourselves that He is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and that no matter how dark it may seem - the Light born in a stable one night so long ago still shines, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

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