“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” – Isaiah 9:2

It is advent, the time of preparation. The time when we ready ourselves for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is a period that speaks to the darkness and uncertainty that settled on the world before the birth of Jesus.

That’s certainly something we should be able to identify with. We have witnessed many uncertainties this year: war in Ukraine, rising inflation, worrisome economic changes, a rise in crime, continued political division … and so much more. We have seen acts of senseless violence take the lives of innocents. We don’t feel safe in the places that should be a source of comfort and security, like churches, synagogues, supermarkets, schools, and colleges.

If you feel anxious or afraid in the face of such darkness, you are not alone. This is the darkness of a world that turns away from the saving light of God. Without the promise of redemption, the world is a dark, anxious, and fearful place.

But we are not condemned to walk in darkness. We have been saved through Christ’s sacrifice, and this advent season is our opportunity to spiritually prepare for His coming.

I encourage you to take this time to prepare your hearts for the anniversary of Christ’s birth and to remember that we await His second coming. This Earth is not our home. Yet while we are here on our journey, let us be sure to carve out time to reflect, repent and pray for our family, friends, and even our enemies. 

Let us remember that, “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

It is the love in our hearts for God and His people that will cause us to see the good in others. It is love that causes us to help a neighbor or friend in need. It is love that will drive out hate. It is love that will transcend culture, race, wealth, and bigotry.

During this Advent season let us pray that we will have more of the love of Christ in our hearts. By opening our hearts to God, we will fill ourselves with the light of hope, driving out the darkness and fear that uncertainty brings.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)