On this second Sunday in Advent, we sing the late 20th century hymn by Kathleen Thomerson entitled “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light”. Most of us like this song. We like the thought of a warm and illuminating light pervading our very lives. We want to follow Christ. We want to be a child of the Light. But think about it. Do we really know what we’re signing up to be?
The image of light is prevalent throughout the Scriptures and throughout our understanding of God. It starts in the beginning with the Creator God pushing back the darkness with the light, filling what was essentially an empty formless void with Illuminating Light. The Light is in essence the very Presence of God. This is not to be taken as merely day filling night. In fact, part of the Creation story is the setting into place that eternal cycle of day and night, work and rest. They are both essential; they are both of God; they are both part of the Created order. They are one.
No, this Light of God is different. It is God’s Presence. It is Illumination replacing emptiness, void, nothingness, absence. To say that we want to walk in that Light, to be a part of that Light, is to say that we want to be with God, that we want to be part of God’s continuing Creation that illuminates all there is. We are saying that we want to live within that Kingdom of God. But do not think that this means that we all of a sudden start basking in this warm, yellow-gold light. (That’s the sun, not God.) The Light of God is more pervasive than we can even fathom. It is white-hot, burning with a tender fire, as it brings everyone and everything into its flame. The writer of the book we know as Malachi compares it to a refiner’s fire that is so hot that it can change the form of anything it touches. There is no shelter from this light because the shelter IS the light. No longer can we cower in the shadows of political or social correctness while pain and injustices continue to exist around us. No longer can we move freely from one social class to the next like we move from streetlight to streetlight on a dark winter night and nonchalantly leave others behind. No longer can we exist in a world where only a portion of us stand bathed in artificial light and are accepted or promoted or fed or insured. We are children of the light. We are children of a different Way. We are the ones that are called to expose the shadows of this world and bring the radiance and fullness of God’s Kingdom into being. In this Season of Advent we are the ones that are called to birth God, the Hope and Joy and Light of all Creation, into the world.
I want to walk as a child of the Light
I want to follow Jesus
God set the stars to give light to the world
The Star of my life is Jesus.
Refrain:In Him there is no darkness at all
The night and the day are both alike
The lamb is the Light of the city of God
Shine in my heart Lord Jesus.
I want to see the Brightness of God
I want to look at Jesus
Clear Son of righteousness shine on my path
And show me the way to the Father. (Refrain)
I’m looking for the coming of Christ
I want to be with Jesus
When we have run, with patience, the race
We shall know the joy of Jesus. (Refrain)
Grace and Peace,