splendor lucis aeternae,
et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina
sedentes in tenebris,
et umbra mortis.
splendor of light everlasting:
Come and enlighten
those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. And
the longest night. Though it is the darkest day, the Advent candles
burn brightly. The church calls from the darkness to her Lord, her
Dayspring from on high, who is “the joyous light of glory.”
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness. God spoke Light into
the darkness. Light is life. Without lLght there is no life.
Darkness is death, the silence of God, the absence of God.
Our sin plunged the creation into darkness and death. Sin loves the
darkness and hates the light. Sin loves the death and hates the life.
Man turned away from God hides in the darkness. Adam hid in the
darkness of the trees. Judas betrayed his Lord at night. Sin seeks
shelter under the cover of darkness. Darkness cannot produce light.
It is nothing, formless and void, empty. Light must be spoken into
darkness from the outside.
God sent His Son, the light of the world thrown into darkness. He is
the light no darkness can overcome, the light of God’s love, His
promise of mercy. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great
light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light
shined.” Jesus is the Morning Star, the Dayspring, the signal of the
coming morning. Day is at hand. The Dayspring has risen. The sun of
righteousness rises with healing in His wings. He was born in darkness
that we might be reborn as children of the light. He died in darkness
that we might live in the light of His life. He rose at dawn to usher
in the new day of His resurrection. He shines into our hearts by the
Holy Spirit who works through the Word, dispelling the darkness,
killing the death, bringing light and life.
Advent calls us out of the darkness to live in the light of Christ, to
be the children of the Light that we are. “If we walk in the light, as
He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood
of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The night is over. The
Day has dawned. Christ has risen from the dead. He has cast the
bright beams of His light upon you.
Flee the darkness. Confess your sin. Expose the darkness, the death,
to His light. Cling to the light of His Word. Live in the warm
brightness of His Light. “You will do well to pay attention to this as
to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning
star rises in your hearts.”
O come, Thou Dayspring from on high, And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!