O Come, Light of the World
Open Your Bible
Genesis 1:1-5, John 1:1-5, John 1:9-10, John 8:12, John 12:35-36, Colossians 1:15-20
In the furthest reaches of my memory, I can’t recall a first Christmas. Christmas, in my mind, has always been.
The image of stockings by the fireplace, the smell of a Frasier fir (fresh, never artificial), the mystery of an unnamed gift under the tree wrapped in Sunday comics and topped with a shiny, dollar store bow—these memories seem to exist outside of me. Unlike birthdays or first days of school, Christmas feels less like a date on calendars past and more like an already-set stage I wander onto each year. When the wind is coldest and the sky darkest, we’re invited to experience anew the warmth and light that’s existed all along.
“In the beginning was the Word,” the Gospel of John begins, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning… In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1–2, 4).
Jesus, the living Word of God, has always been (Colossians 1:17). But He has not always been here, with us. There was a time when the earth and everyone on it ached for the promised Savior. He would be the fulfilment of every promise, the incarnation of Almighty God, the kingdom of heaven walking the earth. Every human heart longed for His arrival—His Advent—whether or not they knew it by name. Even now, every heart aches for His return, for the Son of God to appear and make all things new.
The season of Advent is a time to anticipate and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ—God here with us. This year we’ll read a mix of Old and New Testament texts, each day highlighting how Jesus did not come to establish a new religion, but, as our friend Russ Ramsey writes, “to fulfill the deepest needs and richest promises of an ancient one.” Jesus is the Spotless Lamb, sacrificed in our place. He is the Bread of Life, satisfying our deepest hunger. He is the Great High Priest, reconciling us to the Father. He is the Light of the World, which darkness cannot overcome. And those who follow Him will never walk in darkness because Immanuel has come, and He promises to come again.
Join us as we spend each day this Advent in the pages of Scripture, anticipating and celebrating the arrival of our Savior. O come, O come, Immanuel!