Advent | December 25, 2017
View this email in your browser

Living in Darkness, Waking in Light

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

I have been in many dark places in my life. I have lived in situations where oppression’s grip has long ago dried up hope. I have walked on roads littered with cruel fragments of what a flourishing life should be. I have slept in cities whose light is based in lies and deception, used only to lure children into traps to pleasure others.

My soul often cries out, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” Living in this darkness and brokenness intensifies my longing for a Savior who will wake me up to a different reality. I desire for the morning light of love and truth to pierce through this domineering darkness so that people can be free from evil’s power.

God has filled my emptiness and continues to fill it again and again. The light that the world longs for has come, and his name is Jesus, Immanuel, God-with-us. The miracle of the incarnation is astounding—that God would be so humble as to take the form of a fetus so that Jesus might live, walk, and sleep in the darkest of places.

The incarnation is a metamorphosis of love. Imagine how many times we, the people of darkness, have rejected God; yet God’s love light will not be deterred. The turning of our backs compels God to take even more deliberate measures to be God-with-us.

Isaiah 8 tells the oppressors, those living in darkness, to wring their hands and to prepare for the worst. The evil ones can plot and plan, but God’s children need not worry about their snares, because when all is said and done, the last word is Immanuel, God-with-us (Isa. 8:10).

This Christmas morning, God wakes us with love light, brilliant in its power to overcome the night and overwhelming us with God’s presence—through us, beside us, along us, among us. God-with-us. Immanuel.

Creator and Lover of our soul, we cry out to you in darkness and in our brokenness. We long to be restored to your goodness and light. Wake us with your love light and turn our faces toward yours. Bring joy and celebration to the nations, for your Son, our Savior and Redeemer, has arrived to be with us. Amen, Immanuel, amen!

Carol Bremer-Bennett is a codirector of World Renew, leading the agency’s work in and from the United States. She is born to the To’aheedliinii (Waters Flow Together) Clan and born for the Todich’iinii (Bitter Water) Clan of the Navajo Nation. Carol is an educator by training, whose extensive experience in Christian ministry spans more than 25 years of organizational leadership, leadership development, and administration.

Stand in the Gap

Join World Renew’s efforts to “Stand in the Gap” this Advent on behalf of people who face oppression and poverty. Click here to check out World Renew’s 2017-2018 Gift Catalogue and consider standing in the gap in this way.

Do Justice

Interested in an ongoing justice conversation from a Reformed perspective? Click here to check out some posts on the Do Justice blog, hosted by the CRC Office of Social Justice and the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, and to subscribe!