We will start our Advent sermon series on November 28 and proceed through Christmas Sunday, December 26. We will read through Luke’s Nativity stories in chapters 1 & 2.
I have titled this Lighting Candles in the Darkness. We are 2000+ years removed from the time of Jesus’ birth. In succumbing to sentimentality and nostalgia, we miss the difficult and perilous time that Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph and all of the Jews in Roman Palestine lived through. The idea of God’s chosen on a Davidic throne was six centuries, three national defeats and one exile in the past. Several false Messiah’s had stirred the people towards revolt until the efficient Romans quickly put them down. God had not sent a prophet to the people in their lifetime. It was a dark time at Jesus’ birth.
It may seem like a small thing for a baby, or two if we count John the Baptist (which I will) to be born. It may seem simply small flickers shining amidst enormous darkness.
While our details have changed since then, perhaps we still share that perspective of darkness. As we light the Advent candles and celebrate the birth of the one who went before the Messiah and the birth of Jesus, may we see more than faint light in dark times. May we see the Light of the World coming forth, knowing that the Light overcomes the darkness.