Gospel of John: (Intro) A LIGHT in the darkness! (Advent 1) God has made himself known: In grief and loss
Jn 1:1-18, 3:19-20, 8:12, 12:46
1st Sunday of Advent, 2023: God makes himself known in grief and loss. Advent is all about waiting, longing, and anticipation. Waiting for what? Longing for what? Anticipating what?
For hundreds of years God’s people waited for a Messiah, a Savior, a Deliverer. And since Jesus came 2,000 yrs ago, God’s people have been waiting for 2,000 yrs for him to return again. What are we waiting for, longing for, anticipating now? Essentially, we are waiting for what is wrong to be made right. Things are not what they are supposed to be. The wrong is oft so strong… We experience grief, sorrow and loss on a daily basis.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Advent is a wonderful opportunity to live into Jesus. His first coming brings about repentance and salvation, the call to follow him and walk in faithfulness. His second coming will bring about a new heavens and a new earth, where all things will be made new and right.
But in the meantime, we live in the in-between times of Jesus coming. It’s a time of advent – longing, waiting and anticipation. There is a strong theme in scripture of God making himself known in grief and loss. It can be summed up in a phrase from our text for this coming Sunday from the Gospel of John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Summed up in an advent song: “Light of the World, you stepped down into darkness…” Jesus became flesh and ‘moved into our neighborhood.’ The neighborhood of our grief and loss.
Frederick Dale Bruner in his commentary on the Gospel of John encourages us not only to believe in Jesus, but to live into Jesus. As we anticipate Christmas and Jesus coming again, a 2nd time, embrace ‘the already but not yet’ truth of Immanuel, God with us, even in the midst of our grieving and losses we experience.
See you Sunday,