ADVENT MEDITATION

IT TOOK A STAR

“A Source of New Light”

City dwellers may not know what true darkness is like. Those who live in rural areas, away from city lights, know the feeling of absolute nothingness that comes on a truly dark night. Clouds blot out the stars and you literally “cannot see your hand in front of your face.” It is not necessarily scary, but you have nothing to give you any orientation or sense of direction. Don’t try to go anywhere on such a night, unless you carry a flashlight. You will probably end up going in circles.

Clouds of disappointment and disillusionment frequently bring a measure of this darkness into our lives. We know that life contains goodness. We have memories of good things and we know what hope is, but our perspective has been dimmed by losses we have sustained and hopes that have been unfulfilled. We may even wonder, “Does life have real meaning or is it merely a treadmill, where we walk and do not get anywhere?”

Into the midst of this darkness and confusion there appears a star. It is uniquely beautiful and powerful. The clouds do not hide it. Jesus came to people at a time of deep darkness. The pagan Roman Empire had conquered all the known world and its tyrannical rule seemed to eliminate all that had been valued in people’s faith and freedom. All that remained to them was a vague hope that long held prophetic promises might be fulfilled and a deliverer would come.

Jesus appeared, but it was not with a mighty army, nor a political conquest. Jesus brought a new kind of light. Actually he simply brought new insight into the meaning of old truths that had been part of the people’s tradition. The “Kingdom of God is within you.” God shines light into our inner being. Here is our hope in the midst of despair. Here is new vision and understanding. The light of Jesus’ star enables us to see things around us in all their colorful beauty.