This is my contribution to the CEB Advent Blog Tour. (Go to the link for other posts in this series.)
The true light that shines on all people
was coming into the world.
The light was in the world,
and the world came into being through the light,
but the world didn’t recognize the light.
The light came to his own people,
and his own people didn’t welcome him.
But those who did welcome him,
those who believed in his name,
he authorized to become God’s children,
born not from blood
nor from human desire or passion,
but born from God.
John 1:9-13 (CEB)
Advent is about the Light, the Light that comes into the world.
I like Advent candles, not just because of their scent or because of their aesthetic qualities or even because they evoke memories of Christmases of the past. I like Advent candles because they evoke ponderings about light and the Light.
This Light is not just light. It is the Creative Light, and the world owes its existence to this Light.
The tragedy of the Light is that the Created World, which came into existence through this Light, had so turned itself inside out that the World did not recognize the Light as its true Lord. Not even the People of God recognized this Light as Lord. John makes clear that we are not the Light, and neither do we bear “sparks of light” as in later gnosticism. Instead, Jesus is the Light and that Light needs to be welcomed to gain access to its rays.
Some do recognize this Light as the True Light of the World. True recognition comes by welcoming the Light, receiving the Light, inviting the Light into the neighborhood and home. Reception of the Light makes the Welcomers the Children of the Light. They are born of God — and not just the World.
Worldings are invited by the entrance of the Light into this World to become Children of the Light.
This Light is the Logos, the true Word of God.
As we wait during Advent, we are called here to wait to see the Light and to see Jesus as the Light, the one who disperses darkness and who enlightens the path by revealing God — God Incarnate is the Revelation of God. Any reading of John 1:1-18 sees a piling on of words about Jesus: he is the Logos and the Life and the Wisdom and the Light. Advent, let us remind ourselves each day, is about Jesus, about God sending God’s Son into the world to bring Life because that Son is the Light of the World.