A Light Shining in the Darkness (Advent) - Sunday, December 17

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

A Light Shining in the Darkness - Sunday, December 17

"The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?"
Psalm 24:1-3 (ESV)

Alaska’s scenery is some of the most beautiful on the earth. The land, the seas, the rivers, and the seasons are raw and spectacular. One cannot help but see that the earth and its fullness really do belong to the Lord.

During the season of Advent, there is literally a darkness that engulfs the land. Day by day, we have less light and with it comes longer periods of darkness. We sit in darkness waiting for the light.

Like Advent, we and all of humanity were sitting in spiritual darkness awaiting the true light that was coming into the world.

As we minister to the Native peoples of Alaska, I see this stark contrast of light and dark.

They are a beautiful but broken people who experience this stark contrast of hope and disappointment. In their seasons, they see a darkness that becomes almost unbearable as they wait for the light to increase. In their lives, they see a darkness and wonder where will their salvation come from. They see God’s hand in creation and wonder how is it that things have gone so wrong.

How can we ascend out of the valley of the shadow of death and find the hill of salvation? Who can ascend the hill of the Lord and who can stand in His holy place?

The Advent message that we bring is the answer and hope for these people. The light is coming, the Christ Child, the Son of the living God. Clothed in our sinful, broken humanity and walking into the darkness of our lives, He will ascend Golgotha hill, and He will stand in the holy place.

The light is shining in the darkness and our sins are forgiven in His holy name.

Thank You, Jesus, for coming into the darkness of this world. Thank You for loving us so much that You would give us life for Your name’s sake, Amen.

Rev. David Sternbeck (Nuu-chah-nulth)
Fairbanks, Alaska