Christ the Everlasting Light

Your Truth from the Great Congregation
(Psalm 40:9)
By Nicora Gangi

The Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

— Luke 1:79

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.

— Isaiah 60:1-3,19-21

Sometimes it’s someone else’s words I want to share rather than my own. Today’s Advent Project devotional included the following reflection by Dr. Phillip Aijian, Adjunct Professor, Torrey Honors College, Biola University:

“Light usually attracts my attention in its arrivals and departures—sunrise and sunset. But outside these moments of transition between night and day, I seldom consider light so much as assume it. I expect it to accommodate me, glowing in the background as merely another condition of my visibility. It is useful for my navigation; for choosing what I need or finding what is lost.

Luke and Isaiah, however, present light as more than an elemental power facilitating human experience. Light becomes the object of their focus and celebration because that light exists as the radiant character of God. Isaiah anticipates a time when the familiar sources of light—sun and moon—shall pass away to be replaced in the figure of the Lord, who shall be the “everlasting light.” The advent of the Lord’s glory not only promises to nourish creation, but to heal wounds of the soul and cleanse human history of sin and sorrow. Luke announces this through the benediction of Zacharias, whose song anticipates Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel . . . Christ is our Dayspring. In Advent we again try to cultivate this sense of sight so that we may come to see with Gerard Manley Hopkins that “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” And when Jesus comes again our night shall end forever.”

Aijian then ends his reflection with the following prayer:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that He may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

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