THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT: Letting Go of Darkness

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
Houston, TX
December 11, 2011

On this third Sunday in the Advent season, we continue to talk about light, about the Light of God as it comes into the world.  We talk about a light that illumines, a light that shows the way.  We talk about light-bending and light-bearing.  And we are reminded that this is the Light that pushes away the darkness.  And, yet, we still live in darkness.  We still live with injustice.  We still live with fear.  And we still live in a world that yearns for God and searches for Life.

So what is the problem?  If God created Light and then came into this world as Light Incarnate, the living Light, then why is there still so much darkness?  Perhaps it is we that are holding too tightly to the darkness.  Perhaps it is we who just don’t want to let go of that to which we are accustomed, of that which makes us comfortable.  Perhaps it is we who rather than adjusting our eyes to the Light, instead choose to shield our eyes and close our hearts until the Light is easier to handle.  Perhaps it is we that cannot let go of the darkness, of injustices that we allow to exist, of exclusions that we do not protest and hungers that we do not feed, and of those places where education, or medical resources, or the very basics of sustenance and life are not supplied because it is just too difficult.  And, so, there is still darkness.  Oh, we know that it’s there.  But what can we do? 

Don’t you think that if it were completely up to God, the Light would already be encompassing our world and the Kingdom of God would already be living into its fullest being?  I mean, really, what purpose does it serve God to hold back on us?  Why WOULDN’T God want Creation to be what it was created to be?  Why WOULDN’T God desire a world of justice and righteousness and sustenance for all.  Why WOULDN’T God want a world that offers life to all of God’s children?  If God is truly omnipotent, if God is all-powerful, why is our world the way it is?  It is because this omnipotent God chose long ago to give up a piece of the Godself.  It’s called free will.  God gave the greatest gift to humanity imagineable–a piece of the Divine, the ability to make a choice to let go of darkness and be the Light.  And then God came, Emmanuel, God-With-Us, to show us how to be that Light, to show us what it means to be a child of that Light.  God has never intended to remove us from the darkness of our lives but rather to show us how to transform it into Light, how to transform it into Life.  God is not holding back on us; God is waiting for us to let go of the darkness; God is waiting for us to be light.

Light looked down and beheld Darkness.
‘Thither will I go’, said Light.
Peace looked down and beheld War.
‘Thither will I go’, said Peace.
Love looked down and beheld Hatred.
‘Thither will I go’, said Love.
So came Light and shone.
So came Peace and gave rest.
So came Love and brought Life.
(“And the Word Was Made Flesh”, by Laurence Housman)
This morning we lit our third candle.  The Light has almost encircled the wreath.  It gives us the image of the Light encircling the world.  And when it is complete, when darkness is transformed, then the Light of Christ will be born to all.  We are the light-bearers.  We are the ones called to be children of the Light, bringing the Light to all.  So, let go of the darkness that it might be transformed into Life.  Be Light. Be Peace. Be Love.  Be the Image of God.

In this season of Advent, give yourself the gift of letting go of darkness; give yourself the gift of becoming the light that you were called to be, the light that points to the Light of God and brings life to a hurting world.

Grace and Peace,



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