December 14: In the Shadows


Advent Devotion: In the Shadows

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Luke 1:67-80

“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”    Luke 1:78-79

Whether it’s the physical darkness of decreasing amounts of light each day or an emotional darkness filled with pain, this time of year can be really hard for a lot of people. One of these darknesses that Zechariah speaks of is the shadow of death. To me, the shadow of death was simply what an individual faces before their own death until after my dad’s death this summer. I’m now convinced death’s shadow covers a much wider area.

Death’s shadow covers end of life care, saying goodbye, and missing a loved one. It can sneak up on us in the form of grief in the midst of happy moments, for there cannot be shadow without light. It can be sorrow, pain, dealing with a diagnosis, anxiety, or feeling like you have to keep it all hidden.

It’s the myth that we’re all alone. And that’s the darkness’ greatest power. When we are in the darkness, we forget that there will ever be light again.

But I believe that the sun also rises. In the darkest of nights, the stars are still shining. The dawn will come, driving the darkness away. But it takes time and that’s okay; the darkness does not instantly vanish but slowly fades from our vision.

So this Advent season if you feel like you are in the dark, know that you are not alone. It’s okay to not be okay. And if you feel like you are in the light, may you keep your eyes open for those around you in the shadows. May the light of God’s love and presence not only shine on you but shine in you. And may all our feet be guided on the path towards the peace that passes all understanding.

Katie Brendler
SFTS MDiv Student