Message of Light (Advent) - Thursday, December 7

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

Message of Light - Thursday, December 7

"The sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light
to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Luke 1:78,79 (NIV)

Alaskan winters are filled with darkness.  At the height of the winter solstice, Fairbanks has 22 hours of darkness.  It can be a pretty dark place - not just physically, but spiritually as well.

For some people, and especially in Native communities, Christmas can be a difficult season. Whether it is the loss of a job or a loved one, there are many reasons it can seem as though we are sitting in darkness. Many of our Native brothers and sisters, just like people you may know, spend Christmas longing for some kind of peace in their lives.

This is why Advent is such a powerful time to tell the story - the story of light coming into the darkness and overcoming it (John 1:5). It is the time when we celebrate our Savior's birth and look forward to His second coming. He is the true light, which enlightens everyone and has come into the world (John 1:9). This is the story many Native people need to hear.

Yes, winters in Alaska can be dark, but we have a message of light.  

Zechariah was correct when he told of the sunrise visiting from on high, that through the forgiveness of sins, we would know the way of peace. This Jesus, who is God come from God, would be the light in our darkness. 

As we look back to the first appearance and look forward to His second, we proclaim Jesus as Lord.  For He has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, we thank You that You sent Your Son to come as a light in dark places and that, through Him, You have shown us the way of peace.  Amen.

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