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Seasons of Darkness and Light

Today’s Reflection

“I want to walk as a child of the light.
I want to follow Jesus.”
–Kathleen Thomerson

THIS ADVENT HYMN holds great meaning for me, living as I do in North America. In the midst of days when the sun is distant and the days are shortening, I sing an affirmation, “I want to walk as a child of the light.” The promised coming of [the Christ] child mirrors the promise that, shortly after December 21, the days will begin again to lengthen. Christmas falls so close to the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice that I think of Christ’s coming as synonymous with the return of the sun. …

But what about my neighbors to the south; how do they mark these days? They also want to walk as “children of the light.” They have both day and night, and during the night, the stars shine just as brightly. They pray and sing and prepare their hearts for Christ’s coming just like I do. They attempt, as I do, to find the meaning in the season, to repel the attempts by the culture to commercialize this sacred observance. They are generous in their forgiveness of my myopic North American biases, and they interpret the story in a way meaningful to them. …

All of us Christians around the world carry the same desire: to walk as children of the light, to follow Jesus as he leads us in a ministry of hope and love to the whole creation.

God of Darkness and Light, shine on the world and shine on me. Help me remember that no matter where I live, you send your gift of love to all people. Whether I see snow or sand, evergreen or palm trees, your presence speaks to me of hope for the world. In gratitude I pray for all the world and its people. Amen.

– Beth A. Richardson
Child of the Light

From pages 35-36 of Child of the Light: Walking Through Advent and Christmas by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2005 by Beth A. Richardson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40:8, NRSV

This Week: pray for peace. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Dorothy Day (December 6).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill December 6, 2017, 3:22 am

    Blessed be the name of the Lord. Father of Light – we praise Your Name forever.
    Father – illumine in me what is needed, where my attention needs to be. I am listening. I echo Louise’s words…help me to be the best version of myself today…in all interactions – may You be glorified.
    Grateful for the prayerful support that generously flows here. Grateful for a conversation with my sister yesterday – I spoke my truth, calmly. Father – unite us, despite our differences, as we seek to comfort and support our parents. I am grateful for His mercy and peace.

  • Lou December 6, 2017, 6:15 am

    C S Lewis wrote – Don’t shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you – others can see Him.
    Help me Lord to shine today in order to do Your will. Thy will be done, not mine. Give me strength for the tasks ahead. Help me Lord. Prayers for the husbands going through medical procedures – for Mary’s joy in her new job, for Jill and her parents and family – for Robert, Erich and Annelise, for Marcy and relief from her pain, for Julie and her daughter and relief from her pain, for Francesca and Louise, Andrea and Betsy and their families- for Connie and the joy and bittersweet memories that the holidays bring. Special prayers for all of those who post that I have neglected to mention but who are prayed for here and prayers for all who read but do not post- God is near – he is with us all. Prayers for peace in your heart and prayers for peace for our fallen world.
    Please pray for my son for his job interview today. May he be comforted by Your peace Lord. Prayers for my middle daughter as she completes her student teaching this week, finishes her portfolio and prepares to come home – peace to calm her heart. Prayers for my youngest who struggles daily with anxiety- calm her sweet heart and give her the peace that only you can give Lord.
    Thankful for this place of prayer for one another.

  • Betsy December 6, 2017, 7:04 am

    Shine the light into all those dark places in the world, Heavenly Father. Bring peace to all your children. Blessings to all those who visit here today.

  • Connie December 6, 2017, 7:21 am

    “Hide it under a bushel–No, I’m gonna let it shine”.
    Prayers for Lou and her family and Jill and her family.
    Thankful for Beth’s contribution today-always a joy.
    Years ago I gave my son a chain with an attachment resembling dog tags that reads “All roads lead to home”. He is coming soon.
    My word for today is “illumine”, thank you, Jill.

  • Julie December 6, 2017, 7:57 am

    Thank you Lou, for the update regarding your children. As I have stated, I pray daily for each request , both verbalized and not, related herein. I have been and will continue to pray for you and each of your children.
    I live in Pittsburgh PA, so this reflection resonates for me. If anyone else feels comfortable sharing where they live, I would enjoy knowing. I have often wondered, especially as some have described weather different than outside my own window.
    Blessings to each of the wonderful family members visiting here today. Please know that I lift each of you up to our Lord throughout the day

  • Andrea December 6, 2017, 9:41 am

    Thank you for your prayers, Lou and others. I love the C.S. Lewis quote. We are leaving for the clinic soon.

    It had not occurred to me that “the light coming into the world” is not an apt metaphor for people at the equator and in the southern hemisphere. I pray to be more aware of realities different than my own. I pray for peace at all levels. Peace and understanding, in our own hearts, in our personal relationships, in the workplace, in politics (where decent civility and dialogue are so dearly needed,) in nations, and in the world. It seems that the world goes on as it has for millenia in a state of conflict and war. The beautiful music of Advent and the quiet humility of Jesus’ birth give us respite from the clashing noise of the world, and give us hope. The essentials are not flashy, they are humble.

    I pray for illumination by Jesus’ light, and for Jesus’ peace to grow in my heart and extend outward. I pray for UR friends, for relief of pain, sorrow, loneliness, heaviness, anxiety, for your parents and children, spouses and family members.

    Blessings, Jill, Robert, Betsy, Lou, Marcy, Julie, Mary, Louise, Connie, Carol, April, Sara, Rusty, and everyone who visits to read and comment, or reads and participates silently.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 6, 2017, 10:05 am

    May we all shine brightly so that God is glorified through us!

    Blessings to all !

  • robert moeller December 7, 2017, 6:12 am

    Yesterday, for some unknown reason(s) I had a very tough time settling down to read the reflection. It hadn’t come before I went to heart rehab and when I tried to read it after returning, the quiet of the early morning was gone, Tried again later in the day, but was stymied. Thankfully I’m absorbing the message, posts, and prayers on a spiritually much calmer day. The ability to go back to earlier reflections is very much appreciated.

    Grateful for your prayers and you are in mine. The love of the Lord Jesus Christ is with us as we lift up each other.

    I live in Stowe, VT, close to Pinnacle Peak, and not far from Mount Mansfield. The town where I was born is 18 miles away.

    Yes, Lord, we need peace, Your peace, and wisdom, Your wisdom for these are very difficult times. In You, Lord, we are safe and sound.

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