The Light Shines (Advent Devotion) - Saturday, December 15

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 NIV)

It’s amazing here in the interior of Alaska. One season gives way to another, from constant light to almost total darkness.

Life is kind of like that as well. Native children, like children from around the world, start life without a care in the world. Life is exciting; it's an adventure. Their future is bright and full of promise.

Then, with so much speed and fury, comes a dark night of the soul!

Too often in Native communities, abuse, neglect, trauma, suicide, and the loss of loved ones take away the hope that once filled the child. I often wonder how people can make it through a world broken by sin and death without Jesus.

But we do have Jesus. The true light of the world.

He came into the darkness of our world and took it upon himself. Healing us and saving us through the forgiveness of our sins and the sins of the whole world.

It is the moments when dark nights of the soul try to overcome us that we see, through eyes of faith, His first advent. The light has come into the darkness, and we cling to the promise of His second advent. In this, we find the strength to persevere in hope.

We hear, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) And we know from His word, “That these are light momentary afflictions working for us a far greater eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinth 4:17)

A light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Lord, we are thankful for the gift of the light of Christ and for the promises that you have given us. Amen.

Pastor Dave Sternbeck (Nuu-chah-nulth), Fairbanks, Alaska