Day 13 — Friday, December 10, 2021

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.
Micah 5:2-5a

Just before our passage today begins, Micah exhorts Israel to muster her troops, warning that “many nations are assembled against you” and again that “siege is laid against us.” I suspect it was just as tempting in Micah’s time as it is now to look out at these enemy forces and see in them our deepest danger. 

But how did Israel get into its current mess?  Micah and indeed all of the prophets pull no punches here: “All this for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel” (Micah 1:5). At this point in Israel’s story, we see that her looming captivity is freely chosen. She is no longer in Egypt. With no foreign coercion, she has bowed down to false gods. (To feel better about our contemporary political regimes, read the story of King Ahab who reigned when Micah was prophesying.) And so we understand that the evil from without flows from a brokenness within.

Into this bleak vision, Micah speaks a word of comfort. A ruler is coming, one whose advent is “from of old.” And not only will He put to right all of the ills of this world so that Israel may “dwell secure,” He promises to be their peace (Micah 5:5). This is a crucial phrase.

This side of heaven, our enemies from without may still threaten, and indeed harm. From the earliest days, followers of the Ruler from of old who was born in “little” Bethlehem have suffered — often precisely because they follow Him. But while we still wait for Him to come, to “stand and shepherd” in these ailing places here below, we do well to remember that Jesus Christ has promised peace now: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Micah foresaw this, however dimly, in describing the Messiah Himself as our peace. We typically think of peace as an inner state characterized by an absence of anxiousness, hurry or restlessness. But peace, Micah shows us, is actually not an absence: it is a presence. The presence of the true ruler whom we now know we can follow each day, whatever our outer circumstances.

Dr. Joshua Kraut is an assistant professor of French at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 12 — Thursday, December 9, 2021

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
Luke 3:7–18

Recently I read a scripture that said God was “easy to please,” and deep down I doubted it. I’m sure if I asked 100 people to describe Him, “easy to please” would not make the top 10 list. But as I was reading Luke 3:7–18, it struck me that God is easy to please. God’s not asking us to run through crazy hoops to please Him. I then realized that we are the ones who make seeking Him and pleasing Him hard. Want proof?

Luke 3:7–18 begins with John the Baptist fussing at the half-hearted people who have come to him to get baptized, telling them in verse 8, “Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance.” Then John tells them what will happen if they do not truly repent. All of a sudden, the fear of consequences kicked in and “So the people asked him, saying, ‘What shall we do then?’” (v. 10). The answer points out how simple and easy to please God truly is. He doesn’t tell them to fast and pray for 21 days or become a monk or witness to the very people who have done them wrong. No, God tells each group of people to do the very thing they should have been doing all along.

To the general masses: Be generous with what you have, not with what you do not have. “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise” (v. 11).

To the tax collectors: Don’t cheat any more people. “Collect no more than what is appointed for you” (v. 13). There isn’t even a mention of restitution.

To the soldiers: Don’t continue to abuse your power. “Do not intimidate anyone (shake them down) or accuse falsely and be content with your wages” (v. 14).

What did God ask that these people could not do? His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

So why so often do we think God is hard to please? Why do we act like pleasing Him is a big sacrifice? Why do we act like we don’t already know what to do when it’s the little things from which God wants us to turn? Turn from evil and do good (Psalm 34:14).

Could it possibly be that God is easy to please, but we simply do not want to please Him? Could it be that we want to continue in our sinful ways? Are we rationalizing to keep from doing right? Selah! Pause and think about that.

Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes is an associate professor of mathematics and education at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 11 — Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4–7

“… but in everything… ” and “… do not be anxious about anything… ” Beautiful words that are easy to hear when we are not in the middle of the death of a child or of a parent. These admonitions seem effortless when we are not amidst social strife that separates friend from friend and breaks apart families, or facing uncertainty at work that makes people question their perceived value and security. Spurning anxiousness happens naturally absent loss of employment that leaves families in economic stress that pushes them to the brink. 

The last two years have been filled with anxiety-inducing experiences at personal and corporate levels. The wounds for many are deep and the losses seem insurmountable. The wounds of the last few years, for me personally, are deep. The experiences of the recent past have left figurative and literal scars. My heart will never be the same. The losses were large and the lessons came at steep prices. 

Yet our good God, a Father who gives perfect gifts to us, His children, promises that our tears are not wasted (Psalm 56:8). The cost has a perfect gift for those who receive it. We can live in hope and without anxiousness. We can live in peace that surpasses circumstances and understanding (Ephesians 3:20–21). Christ came to earth, lived, taught, died and rose to conquer the power of anxiety, hopelessness, despair and grief. 

We can rejoice because the truth will win and has already won. We take comfort in the midst of the storms of life knowing that the peace of God can be ours, as a salve on our wounds and a hedge of protection around our hearts. 

This peace is available even as the chaos rages when we rejoice through our tears, knowing our God is good. We find this peace when we turn to God, talk to God, dwell in our Father’s presence, telling Him what fills our hearts. When we still ourselves with God and spill out all the tears, the hurts, the fears, the betrayals, the brokenness, He promises we will find peace.

Just as Jesus prepared to do His Father’s will by often stealing away to be in His Father’s presence (Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42; Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18, 28; Matthew 26:36–45; Mark 14:32–41; Luke 22:39–46), we prepare for the realities of living in this fallen world by being with Him, talking with Him, listening to and meditating on His Word (Hebrews 4:12; Proverbs 30:5–6; John 8:31–32).

The storm may rage, but as Jesus pulled Peter out of the water when his hope faltered, we will not drown (Matthew 14:22–33). He will grab our hands and give us peace in all situations when we turn to Him. In His strength and truth, we can display this hope… this peace… to others as we walk with Him.

The Lord is at hand! Peace on earth! Rejoice! 

Dr. Virginia Beard is an associate professor of political science at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 10 — Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge — even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you — so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:3–9

When I first started teaching at Hope, I didn’t have a reason to stop working at the end of the day. There was so much to do and absorb. It was exhilarating, yet exhausting. The pace started to feel normal, and I believed I could handle it alone. Nowhere in that flow left room for God’s comfort and grace. 

But then I became a mom, and my workflow was upended. There was no explaining to an infant that I had to write one more email before his bottle. Despite my desire, work had to be finished for the day. However, the intentional decision to pause and yield to my child was exactly what I needed. I began to look forward to this outside force telling me to stop. It showed me that the path was unsustainable and not God’s desire.

Thank you God “… that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge” (v. 5). Read that again. In HIM. Not me. Not you. We cannot be the provider of our sufficiency. 

We know that grace and peace are given, but in order to adequately receive it, we usually forget to yield to God. One definition of “yield” is to submit or surrender to another. It’s one thing to stop, but when we stop and then yield to God, we can be comforted and enriched by Him. If we fail to yield, we are saying that we don’t want to fully let go of the reins, that we still want some control. 

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” (v. 7). Notice that the waiting isn’t the end. We are to be expectant as we wait, to anticipate and actively yield to God. We will often ask for grace or express our discomfort. But then we fail to move into the next step, which is to yield. Yielding isn’t passive, it’s actively surrendering so that God can “…sustain you to the end” (v. 9).  


Impress upon my heart, Lord, the desire to yield to your comfort. Help me to admit that I don’t have the ability to be my own savior, that being self-sufficient is not your desire for me. Help me to yield to Your love today, to be enriched through Your grace and comfort. Amen. 

Lindsey Hanson is an assistant professor of dance at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 9 — Monday, December 6, 2021

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes,” says the LORD.
Zephaniah 3:14–20

My son and I find ourselves at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital about once a month. He’s 14 and has a serious autoimmune disease. We seek medical answers and physical relief, but God has been working on our hearts along the way, too. 

One day an unexpected gift unfolded before us in the cafeteria. Among the hubbub of the next Starbucks order and rushed lunchtime exchanges, our eyes were drawn to a scene in the far corner of the room. A father and son were also waiting, maybe there to seek answers and relief as well. We watched as the father leaned over his young son whose body, neck and head were supported by a specialized wheelchair. His son responded and strained to lean in toward his father. The smiling father gently stroked the boy’s hair and then we realized he was tenderly singing to his boy. He was singing over him. One moment we were in our own hard spot and the next we were undone by this intimacy and love.    

In today’s passage, Zephaniah delivers some encouraging words and reminders of God’s intimate love. The words may have been especially sweet — an unexpected gift for the people at the time — since such harsh warning preceded them. They had become spiritually stagnant, complacent, indifferent about God and pursuing sin in every possible way, so the first two and a half chapters are a burning rebuke. But then Zephaniah delivers the promise that we all need:  God will be in their midst. God will restore them. And then in amazing grace, God will even sing over them, rejoicing. He is a loving father and his way is to come to us in our brokenness.  

In this time of Advent, in this time of waiting, lean in toward the Father. He is already leaning in over you, waiting to quiet you with his love and singing. The message of Advent and the message of God is always one of hope and restoration. So on this day, ponder these comforts:  God himself is in your midst. He loves you, he delights in you, and he is singing over you.

Jill Nelson is the chaplain of small groups.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 8 — Sunday, December 5, 2021

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the LORD,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Isaiah 12:2–6

Have you ever wondered why we sing so many songs at Christmastime? 

Whether sacred Advent hymns (“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”), or beloved Christmas carols (“O Holy Night”), or childhood favorites like “Frosty the Snowman,” or schmaltzy pop hits like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” this season is jam-packed with songs. I swear, radio stations started playing Christmas music before Halloween this year.

Today’s passage from Isaiah can help us understand why the world is filled with songs every December. Twice the prophet tells us to sing: “Sing praises” (v. 5) and “sing for joy” (v. 6). 

Isaiah doesn’t only tell us to sing, though. He also tells us why we sing.

We sing because we have a particular kind of joy: “With joy [we] will draw water from the wells of salvation” (v. 3). And we sing “for joy… for great in [our] midst is the Holy One of Israel” (v. 6). We are joyful during Christmas because our salvation has come in the person of Jesus Christ, God with us.

Notice the connection between singing and salvation in verse 2: Isaiah says that the Lord God is “my song” and that he has become “my salvation.” God our song has become God our salvation. And so, in response to God — our song and salvation — Christians are people who sing.

And because of the salvation God has provided, we “sing praises, for he has done gloriously” (v. 5). Is there anything more glorious than this good news of great joy? For unto us is born the Savior, Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10–11).

Isaiah teaches us that all of these things — joy, salvation, the Holy One of Israel, and singing — are a package deal. 

If that’s not a reason to sing, I don’t know what is.

Josh Bishop is the web content manager at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 7 — Saturday, December 4, 2021

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:3–11

There has never been a year where I have approached this prayer of Paul and Timothy with such trepidation. This has been a year where many of us have sought solitude and can barely remember what it is like to gather together under the same roof. Even as Paul and Timothy longed for fellowship, they were held back by their own circumstances (not the fear that is induced in us by a global pandemic). 

The other half of my heart feels the deep longing of this prayer of thanksgiving as I remember the moments of unity brought by corporate worship. My disconnection and isolation allow me access to some of the heartfelt longing that Paul and Timothy were so often feeling. Feelings of being far from home, far from comfort and uncertain of what was in store for the future. 

As I read this prayer, I am forced to reconcile with my fear and my anger. So many divisions and opinions have made me doubt the strength of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I judge their messages online and their political opinions, and deep down my soul gives a sigh of relief that I don’t have to see them again on Sunday. 

This prayer confronts my arrogance and pride. How am I comfortable disparaging the bride of Christ? My heart needs to be reoriented to see the church as Christ does. 

So I hope that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and discernment, so that we all may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. We all need this prayer for ourselves and, if we can love as Christ does, for those we disagree with. 

Lord have mercy on us.

Greg Lookerse is an assistant professor of art.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 6 — Friday, December 3, 2021

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1:68–79

Last December, confined to home with my husband due to coronavirus precautions, we daily observed the season with no fewer than three Advent calendars. One featured a name for Jesus each day and scriptures to accompany it. But when I read today’s scripture passage with an eye toward a devotional I could share, I was intrigued by “horn of salvation.” These are Zechariah’s words shortly after the birth of his son, John the Baptist. With them he celebrates not just his great joy and the role of John in preparing the way of the Lord, but prophesies that the means of their salvation, and ours, was to come. Jesus is the horn of our salvation!

But why “horn”? This moniker did not make it into our Advent calendar last year, and I don’t know about you, but I have little use of (actual) horns these days. Thankfully, Andrew Wilson, pastor of King’s Church in London, writes a chapter on horns in his book God of All Things. (Apropos for Advent, Wilson explains how material things reveal to us things about God. Perfect for a season of awaiting God coming in flesh.)

Horns, Wilson points out, have at least three meanings in scripture. First, horns symbolize “strength, power and victory in battle,” as that is their purpose for the animals that possess them. Second, horns connote plenty, as in the image of cornucopias full of produce and gifts of the earth. And, finally, horns are used in anointing with oil, and thus also suggestive of the Christ, our Messiah, the anointed. 

In our modern world, we too easily take comfort in our historically unprecedented plenty, but how about God’s timeless sovereignty and unchanging power? With strength, he has raised up a horn of our salvation, to save us from our enemies (v. 71), to show us mercy, and fulfill His covenant (v. 72), so that we can serve Him without fear (v. 74). Amen.

Dr. Sarah Estelle is an associate professor of economics.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 5 — Thursday, December 2, 2021

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.”
Malachi 3:1–4

What kind of offerings are you hoping to bring to the Lord during this Advent season?

This scene sketched out for us by the prophet Malachi (whose very name means messenger) is a profound meditation on the gifts that God loves. Our text is quoted by each of the Gospel writers and is traditionally interpreted to prophesy the coming of John the Baptist, son of the priest Zechariah and Elizabeth. Here the LORD presents himself as the agent that will refine the people of God until the gifts they present are full of righteousness and justice. And even in the gospel of Luke the angel had to silence Zechariah to refine his faith!

But if you read on to verse 5 we are reminded that God never refines us from a distance, but always draws near to us in love and with the patient joy of an artist of precious materials who wipes away the dross until we are beautiful in the Lord. So as you contemplate the life that you live before God don’t be afraid to ask for his purifying presence. He will draw beauty from your gifts given in humility and service. 

And as we look toward the Day of the Lord on this side of the resurrection, I am singing along with one of my new favorite Advent songs, written by our friend Wendell Kimbrough: “Everything that is broken will soon be restored, it’s not long till the day of the Lord.”

Bruce Benedict is the chaplain of worship and arts.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails

Day 4 — Wednesday, December 1, 2021

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:25–36

And Then There Was Light

Darkness seems invincible, stalking humanity even during the sunlit day, sowing chaos, spreading division, feasting on the pain of broken lives, abandoned dreams, and weary hearts. 

Roaring like a hungry lion, darkness doesn’t want humanity to know that it lives in fear. It’s terrified that humanity will fully embrace the love of God, stand up to its bullying and find supernatural strength in the truth that since the beginning of beginnings darkness has been God’s servant. 

Darkness has had no choice but to obey God, because it was in darkness where God, resting comfortably with all His power and majesty, subdued darkness with the pure light of his holiness and glory. And then, choosing to manifest His love in a new and expansive way, God created and said, “Let there be light.” 

Darkness was restricted to portions of the day, but, still rebellious and seeking to harm the creation that God loved most, it unleashed spiritual death and misery into the world. Unimpressed and undeterred, God sent humanity the gift of his beloved Son who “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:1–5). 

In this time of Advent, it is well to remember that although darkness still labors toward victory it’s been defeated by Jesus, the Christ. Those who know Him as Lord and Savior need not ever fear because the victory over darkness has been forever won.

Dr. Fred L. Johnson III is an associate professor of history.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to daily Advent emails