Amidst the darkness of midwinter, the appearance of light is always good news.
A final place on which to focus our Advent reflections: Galilee. The home of Jesus growing up, the locale of so much of his teaching and miracles.
As Isaiah indicates, Galilee was not the most promising place. But it is here that God announces an end to the gloom of those in distress. This happens with the coming of Jesus.
Light in the Bible always speaks of the presence of God. It is the first act of creation, as into the chaos and darkness God speaks those wonderful, life-giving words, “Let there be light” (Gen 1). The coming of the light is the first act of God in dealing with the chaos and driving out the darkness.
Jesus is that light. He comes to a people who not only have to walk in darkness but who are permanently living in deep darkness: lives trapped in sin without God. In the darkness, Christ’s coming cannot go unnoticed: “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light”, the re-creation of broken lives in a broken world that Christ brings is like the ever increasing light of dawn.
Amidst our midwinter and chaos, the appearance of Jesus is always good news. He comes to drive out the darkness, and bring his life giving light to bear on our broken lives in this broken world. Where do we need his life giving light to shine in our lives today?