Monday, December 7, 2015

A Benefit Of Darkness

And you, child (John the Baptist), will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1: 76-79 ~ Prophecy of Zechariah at the birth of his son, John 

This weekend I strung thousands of colorful, blinking Christmas lights. Santa and one of his helpers welcomes visitors to The Shire. White lights in the shape of reindeer graze on electricity that keep them glowing at night. Red and white striped candy canes line the walkway between the house and cottage. On its screened-in porch, the cottage has its own tiny tree. Hedges outside it sparkle on each end with alternating green and red in between.

Sunlight bathed The Shire as I illuminated it to celebrate the Christmas season. Warmth and visibility made my projects a pleasant chore. Temps were in the 60's; the days were spectacular. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute outside, because it was a labor of love. Soon, all of our children will arrive for Christmas, along with Sammy and Erika, and among the crew will be our only grandchild, The Wolf Cub Wyatt! Batteries for his F150 are charged, and soon he will be whirring around the yard and up and down our long driveway. Every twinkling light represented a musing of anticipation of having our family together.

But I would need the darkness of night. Why? Because during the day it's impossible to see if the lights are evenly spread out and producing the beautifying effect my mind imagined.

The Scripture at the top of the post was on my mind as I puttered around the yard. I thought about what I was doing in light of Zechariah's prophecy. I was bringing light to the darkness. But without the darkness, I couldn't see the effects of my efforts. Aged Zechariah realized that his son was destined to shed light, and to do so, John would have to enter into darkness and the shadow of death. As a light, John would be useless if he chose to stay in the safe and secure company of those who, too, were lights. Apart from entering the darkness and death there would be no way to see the effect and purpose of his life.

For Believers, rather than fear darkness and death, we need to enter it, and with the knowledge of God's mercy and a message, let our lights shine... 

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