By Elaine Knudtson
“Open Thou Mine Eyes” by John Rutter
Prepare to Be Enlightened
A candle is often a symbol of advent. We light an additional candle each of the four weeks until Christmas Eve when the Christ candle is light in the center. The candles represent hope, love, joy, and peace. Christ turns our darkness into light and causes us to see life differently.
Dear Lord, our world becomes too small when we only see life from one narrow perspective. Change our attitude so that we begin to move from darkness into light through your love.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord. Psa. 18|:24-28
“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Mark Twain
The driveway was encircled by blocks of wood as we arrived at our grandson’s home. “What is that all about?” I asked our daughter. “Oh, it’s his train. Everything is a train to him.” I learned the truth of this a short time later when I emptied a jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table. “Grandma, are you making a train?” he asked. To this two year old, the edge pieces looked like tracks, neatly fitted together in a long line. He was obsessed with trains.
It is easy to fall into the habit of seeing everything in the same way: a pessimist sees the negative, a skeptic sees the scam, a scientist sees the material, a poet sees the metaphor. Scripture states: “to the faithful you are faithful; to the blameless you are blameless; but to the devious you are shrewd.” Our perspective clouds how we see others, ourselves, and God.
At advent we ask God to open our dark places with His light; to help us shed our prejudices and narrow thinking. If we approach the season from the perspective of hope, love, joy and peace, the cynicism falls away and darkness turns to light.
Points to Ponder
- What negative attitudes do I hold at this season of the year? How might the message of hope, peace, joy and love change that perspective?
- How do you see God? What is your starting point? How could the light of His word broaden your view of who He is and how He wants to meet you? What might that look like?
O Lord we get stuck in our narrow habits of the mind, seeing only what we choose to see and ignoring everything else. Broaden our view by the light of your love to see the good, beautiful and positive in the world around us. Help us to demonstrate hope, peace, joy and love to those we encounter this advent season.