We Notice Light When We are in the Darkness

light

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. –Isaiah 9:2

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” –John 8:12

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I accidentally left my Christmas lights on all day yesterday. I didn’t notice it for awhile because the light wasn’t obvious. Those little LED bulbs got lost in the ocean of daylight. It is in the dark blanket of the night sky that those small Christmas lights become tiny beacons of beauty. (Especially in Minnesota, when it’s dark so dang much of the day.)

It seems we notice Jesus the most when we are in touch with our darkness. His light is the flickering splendor of hope in the cold black night of winter.

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O Great Light of the world, come into our darkness now as you did then. Show us beauty when we see nothing but emptiness. Show us the way home when we are stumbling and can’t find our way. Shine like a beacon of beauty and hope, into our lives and into the world. Amen.

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Light of the World- Lauren Daigle

“Can you hear the Angels singing? Glory, to the Light of the World.”

 


NoticingImmanuel

Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.

Seeing Beauty without Decorations

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In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

–Phil 2:5-11

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It’s interesting that Christmas is synonymous with decorations, for at its core, Christmas is not about putting on beauty, but about taking it off.

At the first Advent, Jesus set aside glory for humility. We didn’t tidy up for the earth or our lives for him before he came. There was no level of decoration that could have been appropriate anyway. This wasn’t about our actions, it was about His.

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Holy God, as we put our decorations up for You, may we remember how You took Yours off for us. This season, may we stay in touch with the fantastic, unbelievable, radical love shown through the humility of the incarnation. May the beauty of that act of love overwhelm us more deeply than any other beauty we see. And may we be willing to love others just as radically. Amen.

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Evermore – Phil Wickham

“Humble King, Sovereign Lord, He shall reign forevermore.”

 

 


NoticingImmanuel

Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.

She walks in beauty

she walks in beauty"She walks in beauty..."  

The opening line of Lord Byron's poem is on repeat in my thoughts. The words linger and sink low. They weigh me down with a deep sense of longing that cannot be satisfied.

 

I want to be that woman. The one who would inspire poetry by simply walking in a room. Beauty and grace floating with her like an aura. Unavoidably knitted into the fabric of who she is.

 

I believe that looks do not define a person. I know that I am loved unconditionally by my Creator. I understand that I am not an accident.

 

And yet... and yet... it's so easy to burn with jealousy towards those who seem so flawless. Who can stumble out of the house with a messy bun and a five minute make-up routine and still turn every head when they stroll down the aisles of a store.

 

Is it the brokenness of my own heart or the influences of our culture that cause my eyes to magnify my own flaws and see only the stunning perfection of others?

 

(I ran out of time, and had to leave this post unresolved. Just keeping it real today, I guess.)

 

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: SHE. (Full disclosure: I write the post in 5 minutes, but I take a little extra time to create a graphic to go with it. I think that's still okay according to the rules...)