“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.”
Some weeks ago I took my two dogs for their morning walk to the beach. It was still quite dark and dawn had not yet broken and there were already several people on the beach with their dogs as well. But the strange thing was that none of them were walking but staring out to sea in a hushed silence. The reason for it soon became apparent as through the half light a pencil thin orange light touched the sea and as it strengthened so did everyones’ anticipation until suddenly the beautiful orange globe of the sun burst over the Eastern horizon in the cloudless sky. There were gasps from people at the sheer beauty and magic of the moment and some even started clapping.
It reminded me very much of Isaiah’s prophecy to the people of Israel who at the time were held in slavery in a foreign land; that the promised Messiah would come to free them and lead them home. And Isaiah awaited this moment with real anticipation as if he was awaiting the sunrise in the East breaking through the darkness of their unhappiness and fear.
Today is Advent Sunday, the day that we begin our journey through Advent leading to Christmas. It is a time of waiting, not with boredom or frustration but with anticipation and perhaps this year, more than most, we can more fully understand Isaiah’s yearning for release and freedom as we too experience a time of restrictions due to the Covid pandemic and look forward to the freedom of normal life beyond.
This is “Advent waiting” not in frustration and boredom but in yearning, anticipation and excitement as we wait with Isaiah for the sun to rise bringing light and life and freedom anew as Christ is born in our hearts afresh on Christmas day.
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the
light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.