Happy Monday, Friends!
Yesterday, the church marked the Second Sunday in Advent as we prepare for the joy of Christmas. Speaking about the coming of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah said, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined" (Isaiah 9:2 NRSV). Growing up this verse and the ones that followed it was one of my favorite Advent/Christmas passages.
Darkness is one of the most prevalent metaphors in our lives. And why shouldn't it be? We live approximately half of our lives in the darkness of night. We experience darkness physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually throughout our lives. I spent the first 20 years of my life in the darkness of the closet and several more dealing with the darkness of untreated mental illness. Where has your darkness been and where is it now?
I have prayed for God to show me the light in my dark places. When that prayer was about the darkness of anxiety and depression, God helped me reach out to great counselors and physicians. When that prayer was about the darkness of the closet, God put friends and a faith community in my life who accepted me for the gay man that God had created me to be. Each time I prayed for light; God sent that light in the form of other people. Friends, how can we be God's light for other people? How can we bring light to the darkest corners of closets everywhere?
Let us pray: God of infinite light, make us light bringers to every closet, every cave, and every place where our siblings experience darkness. Direct our words, our actions, and our ideas so that we radiate light and not increase darkness. When we experience dark moments and seasons, help us see you in the faces of those friends and professionals reaching out to us. In all seasons, may we love as you love us. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our only salvation and advocate.
Blessings, friends, on your week. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.