It happened on Thanksgiving Day.  The family was gathered ‘round.  Fortunately, it happened after Thanksgiving dinner was prepared and served.

The lights went out.

No big deal, really.  But as the sun sunk slowly from the sky on that November day in the Midwest, we noticed.  For once we noticed.

Flashlights were found.  Battery-operated candles were turned on.  Plans were changed.

Light affects us all, doesn’t it?  And like so many of God’s good gifts, we take it for granted.

“The people who walk in darkness will see a bright light.
The light will shine on those who live in the land of death’s shadow.” (Is. 9:2)

“The people who lived in darkness
have seen a bright light.
A Light has risen
for those who live in a land overshadowed by death.” (Matt. 4:16)

“God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world.” (John 3:17)

“Jesus … said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark.’” (John 8:12)

Jesus is the Light of the world!

What did we do on that day without light? We waited. As the light faded, we put away the cards. The television sat there, quiet and still. Some moved outside to make use of the remaining light to get in a soccer game. Others sat together in the near-dark and visited quietly without distractions. Supper plans were postponed.

We waited together. We waited for the light.

And I was reminded once again of God’s wisdom in using the concept of light to describe Jesus, the Light of the world.  What a timeless comparison!  As long as the world has existed, people understand “light.”  Without it, we wait for it… realizing that without it, we are not quite as safe, not quite as free, not able to see as clearly…

It was a perfect time for the lights to go out… Right before Advent, that great season of the church year that’s all about waiting for the Light.

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What do we do while we wait?

“Wait with hope for the Lord.  Be strong, and let your heart be courageous.  Yes, wait with hope for the Lord.”  (Ps. 27:14)

The electricity going off that day (with twenty-some people in the house) was an unexpected blessing.  It gave us time to pause.  To appreciate the light when we do have it.  To enjoy conversation.  To learn once again to wait patiently on the Lord.

The Light will return.  We flounder here in this sinful world and hardly realize what we’re missing.  Some wonder why God doesn’t seem to hear their prayers.  Some wonder just how evil the world will become before He returns.

We sometimes forget that this world is not our home.  We are “strangers and aliens.”  (I Peter 2:11)

True Light will appear…..  “We can expect what we hope for—the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)  “Think of the kind of holy and godly lives you must live as you look forward to the day of God and eagerly wait for it to come. When that day comes, heaven will be on fire and will be destroyed. Everything that makes up the universe will burn and melt.  But we look forward to what God has promised—a new heaven and a new earth—a place where everything that has God’s approval lives.” (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Until The Light comes again, we wait.  “We must do what the One who sent Me wants us to do while it is day.  The night when no one can do anything is coming.” (John 9:4)  We share the Good News of God’s grace and mercy in Jesus.  His love for all people.  We know “He wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.” (I Tim. 2:4)

And so we wait.

We wait together.  And we share God’s Word with our loved ones.  “We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.” (Hebrews 10:25)

We talk about God to our children.  “Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  (Deut. 6:4-9)

We wait with penitence, admitting our sin.  Admitting our need for a Savior.  Admitting our own unworthiness.  Longing for wholeness. We live as God’s children.

“Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above—where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things. You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life. When He appears, then you, too, will appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4)

We wait expectantly, knowing that God keeps His promises.  “The Lord isn’t slow to do what He promised, as some people think. Rather, He is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to Him and change the way they think and act.” (2 Peter 3:9)

We wait… knowing that Jesus the Messiah will come once again.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, Light of the world!