“And you, child, 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
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Light is such a powerful thing as it can illuminate everything around it. Things that might seem out of focus become clearer with light, while details or nuances of what we look at are easier to pick out. In this passage of Luke, the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father Zechariah says his child is to “go before the Lord to prepare his ways”…and “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in to the way of peace.”
The light John is to give is the light of Jesus whose arrival will illuminate the world around us like no other. When we welcome Jesus and His light into our lives, we begin to see a lot of the things we try to hide from those around us. This can be our addictions, our anger, our shortcomings or our sins. Anything we don’t think will be pleasing to those around us, let alone God, we hide away. However, Christ’s light is inescapable. And while it shows us all the dark corners of our lives…it brings us out of the darkness forever. That is the promise of Jesus birth and his saving death.
Lord, let your light shine upon us. While we celebrate the birth of Jesus once a year, help us to see the light of his arrival each and every day, so we can stay out of the shadows. We know that His path for us is one we can only see when we allow Jesus to illuminate it. May this Advent season be the reminder for us to seek his light “to guide our feet into the way of peace.”