Waiting in the Dark Places (Advent) - Thursday, December 21

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

Waiting in the Dark Places - Thursday, December 21

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I concecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)

Winter comes early in Interior Alaska, boasting of extremes. The earth is held pressed down by mounds of snow. Brittle bushes are stripped of their leaves. The sun runs away from the earth and barely peeks above the horizon for a few hours each day. The air is so cold it steals one's breath away. Stillness prevails. Quiet grows. A curtain of darkness covers the land. And, yet, we never lose hope for spring, for the newness of life.

In the darkness of Mary's womb, the Light of the World was being formed. It was happening during a time of heavy sorrow for a nation waiting so long they had almost given up. It happened in a world like ours: burdened, frightened, breathless from our efforts. Slowly, however, as if nothing were happening, life was about to spring forth. 

As we wait for the rebirth of spring, we also remember the birth of our Savior. Held close to His mother’s heart and hidden from sight, Jesus' little body was developing. He came into the world at just the right time for the specific purpose of saving us from eternal hopelessness and damnation.

Dear one, when dark days overtake you, know that Jesus has come to be the True Light that shines in the world. He has come to hold you close to His heart while you are being formed according to His purpose. Rest in His care as He molds and shapes you for the work ahead and while His plan for your life continues to unfold.

Father God, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. Help us to be thankful every day that He was true to His calling. Thank You for the best gift we could ask for: Jesus, the Word made Flesh, who dwells among us. Amen.

Rosemary Sternbeck
Fairbanks, Alaska