Your days of mourning shall be ended. Isaiah 60:20

The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

We are in the season of Advent, a time where we are preparing for the birth of Jesus. In the world around us this seems to be a time of shopping. Numerous ads appear about all the great sales,” buy now” it isn’t Christmas without lots of stuff. In contrast, in  church, we start out with passages about the end times, signs of the coming end of our world. Times when the moon and sun will be darkened as we heard this past week. Next we move on to happier passages that are about Christ coming into our world.

Isaiah in chapter 60 speaks of joyful times to come, an end to days of mourning. The full verse reads: “Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” The people it is addressed to are coming back from exile, so their days of mourning are ending. We might not be in physical exile, but we often feel lonely and apart from others at this time of year. All around us are people that are joyful and anticipating Christmas (and Santa Claus and presents.) For others, it can be a sad time. However, we have the promise that our own personal darkness will end; the Lord is all the light we will need.

John starts his gospel by telling about the Word, Jesus, coming to live among us as one of us. As one who shares in our darkness and problems. Who joins with us in our mourning. We await and anticipate the arrival of Christmas to celebrate the arrival of our Savior. We can know that our days of mourning and sadness “shall be ended” as we celebrate.

Mysterious and majestic God, we long for the coming of Jesus, our Lord, with grace and glory. We thank you for being with us in our times of sadness and mourning and bringing your light into our world. May your divine word live in our hearts, so that we may bear witness to your love for the entire world. Amen.

Chris Gabel