The Light Comes into the World
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it. ~ John 1:1-5
On my last Sunday in my home congregation - the Sunday before I began my first call as an Associate in Ministry (now Deacon) - it was the third Sunday in Advent and I was scheduled to preach on John the Baptist from the gospel of Luke.
I was going to use my sermon as a time to thank the congregation that had supported me through Seminary and set me on the path to rostered ministry in the ELCA.
I had it all written, all practiced, and all ready to go.
The date I was scheduled to preach was December 16th, 2012.
Two days earlier, twenty children and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Needless to say, I rewrote that sermon.
A John the Baptist crying out fire and brimstone no longer felt appropriate.
So that Sunday morning I went into the slides for the service and changed the gospel reading.
I changed it to this Gospel reading.
The light has entered the world, and darkness - even the darkness of a heart full of anger and hatred and violence - cannot overcome the light.
The light of Christ will not be put out.
As you prepare to celebrate the birth of the newborn King, may that light fill your heart and all the dark places in your life.
And may it never be extinguished.
Question for thought: How does this reading from John touch your life?
Come, O Holy One, for we wait upon you. And light the darkness of our hearts and lives so that we may know your love fully. Amen