Hello my dear, dear friends! My apologies, somehow I skipped Chapter 3 in the book, I have edited the previous entries. Thank goodness I caught this early, during the first week of Advent. Chapter 3 is titled, “The Great Light” and it mirrors the “London Blitz” story line of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2, 4-6
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
When you read the verses from Isaiah 9:5, did you just skim over the words that described war and blood? Did the words register in your mind? “For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.” ~Isaiah 9:5
When thinking of Christmas, our thoughts do not quickly turn to war, violence, cruelty or suffering. Generally speaking, we think of the birth of Jesus, decorated trees, gift buying, gift giving, social gatherings, and family. At the time Isaiah’s writings, war was looming for the Israelites and Judeans. Violence was very real for the Jews of Jesus’ time, as they were under Roman rule. And, for Lucy and her siblings they had been sent away from the city where war was raging, the London Blitz, with bombings and fires. Narnia, itself was in a state of war as well, the White Witch had frozen everything and the creatures lived in fear. Of the cold and darkness, violence and war both God and Aslan made promises of light and peace.
Darkness is real, we all walk with darkness or some kind of danger overshadowing our lives, for Lucy and her siblings it was war and violence that took them from their home and parents. For the Israelites, it was rumblings of war and occupation by foreigners and being exiled from their homeland. Today, darkness overshadows the lives of many and comes in the form of bullying, poverty, health concerns both physical and emotional, and broken relationships to mention but a few.
Friends- I tell you there is HOPE! Jesus Christ is our hope, our light that illuminates all darkness. In addition, we can and should be a light to one another. When we have the power to make a positive difference for another person, we need to seize the moment! I personally have found it to be equally beneficial in healing my own wounds and it lights up my darkness as well. To change someone’s outlook, we simply need to take notice of them. Let them know they are visible. When people no longer feel invisible they begin to see a sun rising in the distance! How amazing is that(?)!
This week of Advent has been about HOPE! The HOPE in the birth of Jesus! The HOPE in Jesus’ Second Coming! Renewed HOPE in one another!
Questions for Reflection:
• What darkness looms in your life or community right now?
• What “boots” or blood-stained clothes are you longing for God to destroy?
• Holidays can be very difficult and dark for many people. A suggestion by the author Heidi Haverkamp, is to consider drawing or doodling a picture that depicts what darkness feels like. Then draw or doodle a picture of the light you are longing for.
Here’s a copy of doodle drawings: The first one I call “Faceless” and the second one, “Star of Bethlehem.” I have seen a great light and His name is Jesus!
* If you do not have access to a therapist, consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline(1-800-273-8255). This service provides confidential support to anyone in distress and can provide crisis resources for you and your loved ones. Don’t feel like talking on the phone? Send a message to the Crisis Text Line. No matter how dark things seem, remember that you have options.