As we enter the third week of Advent, Michael R. Palmer, contributing writer to Long-Expected Jesus and Lead Pastor at Living Vine Church of the Nazarene, will take a few moments to introduce week three’s theme, He is Light. We have also provided the daily scripture passages, Sunday devotional and weekly prayer.
Today’s Scripture Reading: John 1:6–8, 19–28
Additional Scripture Readings: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11; Psalm 126; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
THE LIGHT OF JESUS
In every single generation throughout history there has been an understood relationship between light and hope. For the weary sailor who has been lost at sea for days, a glimpse of light in the distance promises safety. For the young child who wakes up suddenly from a nightmare—fearing what might be under the bed or in the closet—light brings comfort. In many religious traditions and worship settings, the simple act of lighting a candle can symbolize divine presence and life. We only have to read to the third verse of Genesis to see the significant and foundational role that light played in creation: “And God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light.” By its very nature, light can guide us, lead us, help us, give us life, and show us the truth.
The first-century Roman world knew what it was like to be guided by the light. In the evening, when the fire burned down and slowly turned to ash, the town became dark. When the sun set, the workday was over. When the sun rose, a new day began. Light, and the absence of light, determined the rhythm and tempo of daily life.
When the Scriptures refer to Jesus as the Light, the symbolism and imagery are incredibly powerful. As the Light, he desires to lead and guide us into all truth. As the Light, he calls us to listen to and follow him. As the Light, he desires to expose and expel any darkness that might reside within us. The Light calls us to turn away from the darkness of our sin. And as the Light, he desires to birth new life within us. When we welcome Christ—the true Light—into our lives, we are made new.
Christ with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ when I lie down
Christ when I sit down
Christ when I arise
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me
I arise today
through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
through belief in the Threeness,
through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
Due to the overwhelming response to Long-Expected Jesus, we have sold out of the devotional book, but the ebook is still available for purchase here.