Alliterating Advent, week 3: ILLUMINATING

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Illuminating: 1. Giving or producing light; used for illumination. 2. Providing insight, clarity, or understanding, highly informative.

“Let there be light!”

These are the first words recorded from the voice of Almighty God. God spoke these words over a dark and formless world. 

And there was light. 

He has been speaking light into the darkness ever since.

This particular December God has been “illuminating” the feast of Hanukkah–the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil. When the Maccabees regained control of the Temple in Jerusalem after it had been desecrated by the Syrians, they only had enough sacred oil to relight the menorah for one night. That wasn’t nearly long enough to produce more purified oil. The miracle of Hanukkah is that the oil that should only have lasted  one night, burned for eight nights–allowing them time to replenish it.

They did what they could and gave God what they had. When they did He turned their “little” into a whole lot more.

Many of us are feeling depleted this year. There is a weariness in the atmosphere. Even though many of us have given Him all we have, it seems like there just isn’t enough oil to keep the light in the temple burning. At least not on our own.

But, then again, we’re never on our own.

Just when it seems all hope is lost, God speaks again into the darkness and says …

“Let there be light!”

And, miraculously, the oil multiplies and the light keeps burning brightly.  

Next week, on December 21st, is Winter Solstice—the shortest and darkest day of the year. But this year on the very darkest day, the “Bethlehem Star”—a rare phenomenon that last occurred around 800 years ago—will make its appearance in the night sky.  Caused by the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, it is this bright “star” that, according to many scholars, led the wise men to Jesus some two thousand years ago. 

So, on the darkest day of the year, in one of the darkest years in memory, the brightest star will make a “once in 800 years” appearance in the sky.  Coincidence?

Or could it be that once again God is illuminating the darkness and leading us to Jesus?

 Into the darkness, a great light has come. A light that will never fade and will never fails. A light that is not dependent upon our resources to keep burning.

A light that will always illuminate the face of Jesus.

“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

Let there be light, beloved. Let there be light.

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