Advent Devotional

Light Bearer

I’m excited to reintroduce you to Anna Thelen this Advent. Anna and I are friends who go all the way back to the birth of my first pregnancy. She was my doula, and I quickly discovered that she brought not only tons of birth experience, but the light of Jesus everywhere she went. 

This is Anna’s second contribution to an Advent devotional series on the blog. You can read her work from last year here

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Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Light Bearer

by Anna Thelen

Sometimes I wake a tiny bit early and have a moment to pause before my carefully crafted, down-to-the-minute morning routine begins.

I watch the light stream in through the dining room windows, and these seconds of quiet and light bring me joy. Depending on the time of year, and if the lace curtain is drawn or open, there will be patterns of beauty on the floor, the wall, the table.
On days when I nanny, the light that scatters across the kitchen floor of the home in which I work envelops me in it’s cold clearness. It’s already a cold winter in Chicago, but the light still shines. The shadows of the remaining leaves dancing in the wind; they fall across the toys and crushed cereal under my feet. 
 
I often look for the light. I find delight in it in the midst of the monotony and joy of each day. Sometimes I don’t notice it; I am too busy to be bothered, to be still. I’m in too much motion to acknowledge this gentle passing of the time, as the sun shifts in the sky and envelopes me differently every hour.
Waiting feels like the light sometimes. Sometimes it is in our faces, blaring, blinding, obvious. The pain of not having what one yearns for can be almost scalding in its emptiness.
Other times the absence of the thing we desire most is a gentle one, quiet so we can go about our lives without paying much attention to what is yet beyond our reach.
The keenness of waiting ebbs and flows. The pain of waiting does the same, much like the light that surrounds us and fades with each day.  
 
With Advent now upon us, we are reminded of our waiting for Christ, for his arrival as a child, and for his triumphant return one day.
We wait for all wrongs to be righted and death to come undone. What we are waiting for matters. It is and will be everything.
It shouldn’t be so easy to forget. He shouldn’t be so easy to forget.
How easy it is for me to forget that I am waiting for that. For him. In the midst of the other things I wait for with such anxious longing, or such simple passing days, I am waiting for the glorious return of my Savior. You are, too.
As we admire and are pierced with longing by the sunshine on our faces, so should it remind us of the longings we have deep inside to see even greater redemption than the ones we hope for and work towards in our day to day.
One day he will return and Light will come and stay forever. 
 
Isaiah reminds us in this way:

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” 

The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.  –2:2-5

In the world we live in, rife with violence and discord, high tensions politically and spiritually, death and suffering wherever we turn. sadness and pain on global, national and personal levels, it is essential to be reminded of what is coming. Of what we are waiting, and hoping for.

That one day the Christ will come and those instruments of war and strife will be transformed by radical love and redemption into tools of cultivation and growth. 

It may feel impossible now, and very dark right now, hope barely light enough to see by, but we must cling to that hope. We must walk towards and into the Light of Christ in the every day, and bear his Light into the world.

We wait for this, this beautiful redemption, and the Light to shatter all darkness. 

 

What redemption are you waiting and longing for? 


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Anna Thelen is a nanny, birth doula, and yoga teacher in the Chicago suburbs. When she’s not chasing light, she is planning her next trip to the UK, cooking with friends, reading Mary Oliver and trying not to feed her dress buying habit. You can find more info about her doula practice here.

2 thoughts on “Light Bearer

  1. Wow. This left me in breathless wonder and hope. Thank you for bringing these verses and the concept of waiting on God back to my mind. Thank you for sharing in your beautiful, poetic way!!

    Like

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