Reflection on Advent

Each fall the members, ministers and mission partners of Huguenot Road Baptist put together an Advent devotion guide.  We were asked to contribute, and our devotion was included on December 13.  Here’s what we wrote:

Have you ever stood in a dark room long enough to let your eyes adjust – only to realize that it wasn’t completely dark after all? Sometimes our eyes must adjust to the darkness to find a little bit of light.

Darkness can take many forms, but usually it means the absence of something. It can be the absence of light, but other kinds of darkness are harder to understand and illuminate – the absence of knowledge, the absence of compassion, or the absence of God’s Spirit. We see a lot of these kinds of darkness where we live, working among the Roma people in Eastern Slovakia. We’ll do what we can, but it’s not our light that will really make a difference. That Light was already here; our eyes are adjusting and we’re starting to see it.

We’ve seen it in people like Pavol and Ana, Slovak teachers who gave up more profitable careers to teach among the Roma. Each day they choose compassion instead of stereotypes and status quo.

We’ve seen it in young Roma students like Dominik and Albina, who travel several miles each day to attend school. They will one day be voices for progress and forgiveness among their people.

We’ve seen it in people like Krestian, a young Slovak studying to do social work among the Roma. One day he will serve among impoverished Roma… and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We’ve seen it in people like Leo, a young Roma father studying at a music conservatory. One day Leo will teach Roma music and culture in Roma villages, and show how Jesus has changed his life.

Our job is not to bring light into this world – it’s already here! Our work is to find it, to celebrate it, and to do what we can to help it grow. Where are the dark places in your world, where are the absences? Do you avoid them, or do you seek them out? There’s light to be found there – God’s light is everywhere. Let’s have courage, let our eyes adjust, and celebrate the Light that is slowly overcoming the darkness!

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