The coronavirus pandemic is a “before and after” experience. For the rest of our lives, there will be before the pandemic and after. Certain things will not be the same again.
Peace is one of those things for me. Before the pandemic, peace was more future-oriented. After, peace is present-oriented. The ease of a deep breath. A hug from my toddler. Deep peace in the gift of life right now.
For weeks at the pandemic’s beginning, I wrestled with the thought of dying and leaving my children behind. “Surely, God,” I prayed, “you would not allow my children to grow up without a mother or without a father.” I still wonder how so many children could lose their parents too early. This I do not understand.
In today’s text, light is synonymous with life, the special kind of life borne in Christ. John 1 tells us this life-light existed from the beginning with Christ. The life-light shone before us, shines in us now, and will shine after we die. The life-light transcends the darkness of death. The darkness, therefore, cannot overcome the light.
Your life is full of Christ’s life-light; your breath, words, soul, and love are God’s light in the flesh. Our lives will come to an end. The life-light will not. This is the abandon with which Jesus lived—beholden only to the trajectory, guidance, and tenacity of the life-light. One does not obey love’s way to the point of death without such courageous acceptance.
On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of peace, may you know deeply God’s life-light within you and find peace in knowing God’s life-light shines beyond you.
What places in your life lack peace or understanding today? What would it look like for God to visit or illuminate those places?
God of light and life, shine in me today. Pierce the darkness of despair and death. You are my source of peace and life. My life is in your hands, now and always. Amen.