The First Week of Advent: Light

It’s December Already?

I am not quite ready to celebrate Christmas time, even though December is upon us and it’s been 30 degrees all week. Which is odd, because Christmas has already come and gone at the Springer homestead. My side of the family celebrated a Thanks-Christmas last week while all 14 of us were all together. The Hallmark movies were in full force. My oldest and I placed the tree lights (which my dad re-did after the fact… that’s a job he’ll never relinquish). My middle taught his toddler cousin how to rip wrapping paper off a gift. My youngest rejoiced over gifts of lip gloss, nail polish and Vanilla Sugar lotion. Publix did us right with turkey and dressing, and Costco had pumpkin pies for $5.99!

All these fresh holiday memories and I still can’t bring myself to begin decking my own halls. Last year I was swamped with work, but this year I find myself at home full-time again. There is space in my schedule and my living room for the lights to go up. It’s time I find space in my heart.


A Non-Christmasy Reading

And so I turn to John chapter 1. I love pondering this passage during the first week of Advent {preparation for Christ’s humble coming}. Perhaps other Enneagram 4s love it too for its uniqueness. No mention of a manger or Bethlehem or Mother Mary, and yet it tells the story so beautifully.

I love reading it as a poem:

In the beginning was the Word

and the Word was with God

and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things came into being through Him

and apart from Him

nothing came into being

that has come into being.


In Him was life

and the life was the Light of men.

The Light shines in the darkness

and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There’s more to this beautiful poem, which I one day intend to hear from the author’s mouth in his native tongue, and which we’ll explore later in the season. If you’re wanting to prepare Him room in your spirit, pause here with me? Absorb these lines. Read it again. Imagine yourself in the Beginning with Him, with Them. Continue to the first poem of Genesis below, then go back to the first poem of John. Then Read them together.

In the beginning

God created

the heavens and the earth.


The earth was formless and void

and darkness was over

the surface of the deep

and the Spirit of God was moving

over the surface of the waters.


Then God said

“Let there be light”

and there was light.


God saw that the light was good

and God separated the light from the darkness

God called the light day

and the darkness He called night. 

Genesis 1


Consider: what was it like to hover over the waters? What was God feeling in the dark expanse? What was He thinking about? What happened when His mouth opened? What did it sound like, what did it look like? How big was the light? Were there colors, songs, waves? What does it mean that Jesus is the Word? What does it mean that nothing has come into being apart from Him? What did it look like when God separated light and darkness and gave them each a name?

On the first Yesterday, Jesus was hovering over the deep, hanging out in the darkness with the Spirit and the Father, a part of those four famous Words that changed everything:


Today He’s at the edge of the universe making sure His Word is still coming to pass. I recently heard on NPR that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate – much faster than astronomists previously thought. At the edges of creation, light is still going out into the darkness. Faster and faster! Brighter and brighter until the full day!

And on a Yesterday about 2000 years ago, he was coming through a teenager’s birth canal onto the floor of a lean-to donkey shed. This is the Word become flesh to dwell among us. The darkness didn’t comprehend it, and neither do I, but I try. I try to imagine the cosmos-speaker letting out his first cry. No wonder the stars aligned and the heavens declared His glory!


Normal Life Application

So what does this mean for you and me today, we children of the light who wrestle with so much darkness?

This is the big question. The matter of light and darkness and who wins and where shall we be found – in the dark or in the light? Sometimes it seems so black and white: I can choose to walk in the Light. I belong to the Light. I am a daughter of the Light. Therefore the darkness can’t take me over.

Other times, the world seems like all shades of grey. Very, very dark grey, Lego Batman would say. The darkness hovers over me and I sure don’t feel like this world has room for much light.

John reminds me that in the end the Light will win, for even now, at the edges of the known universe, the light is eating through an expanse of nothingness. Can I trust that God is big enough? These circumstances that hover and fill my whole sky… what if God is hovering over this surface too? How big is He compared to this present darkness? Is He afraid of it? Might His light be brighter? What would it look like for light to break in?


What if you and I opened our hearts to receive His light? Perhaps I could loosen my grip on the ways I’ve let the dark define my feelings and worries and days to come.

The light is still there; I just haven’t opened my eyes to see it.

Open up let the light in, sings a melody. It’s a good posture for Advent. 

It doesn’t mean there are answers or quick fixes. The circumstances may or may not change. But the truth remains that the light shines, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

So much of the dark is incomprehensible. But how much more the light! What if I let myself be overwhelmed by the complexity and greatness of the light instead of the dark? It’s a much better mass to behold.

This Christmas

may we look up through the dark

to the light

that hovers brightly over us


He has shone

and He is shining

and He will shine forever.


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