Isaiah 1: 5: “….come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.”
What a beautifully simple invitation. To come.
It’s a opportunity. It’s a journey. It’s a call. It’s a visit.
God wants us to come to him this season. As he comes to us.
God wants us to be with him this season. Well, in all seasons, really. But sometimes we need loving, nudging reminders. Like a personal dinner invitation over the phone, or a party invitation in the mail, or the suggestion of a prophet to his God’s people at the First Sunday of Advent Mass.
Advent means, “coming”… and the One who is coming is Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Advent of the Lord. Am I engaged in his coming? Am I aware of his presence? Will I choose to come and enter into this season, to enter into this walking?
Let us walk…
Walking is a human activity. Walking is a naturally occurring movement for most people.
Walking is a pace of activity that does not involve running or rushing. Like walking with someone and talking at the same time. Or walking and observing the world around us. Breathing and moving with purpose. Not standing still, but not zooming either. Walking.
Walking is getting from here to there and back again. Walking is healthy. It is good for me and I need to do more of it.
Am I walking or running? Or am I standing still?
Where I am walking? Who am I walking with?
I read that Isaiah is being pretty specific about that.
In the light of the Lord…
What does this mean — to be in the light of the Lord? In the preceding verses the prophet Isaiah speaks of the Lord’s mountain and how his people come to it for instruction.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
What does this mean to me? The light of the Lord comes from his instruction to me. To be in the Lord’s light means I must be close to his teaching… both in God’s Word in the Bible, and his words coming through the Church.
To walk in the light of the Lord suggests that I must be close to the lights of Advent. Like confession, prayer, Eucharist, almsgiving. Even fasting as we await the feasting of the holy days. These bring the light of the Lord to my heart, my days, my attitude.
But the light of the Lord is more… for the light that I’ve described so far comes to us is merely a by-product of the Presence of the Lord.
The call to come, to walk, to be in the light… this is a personal invitation to be with Someone. It suggests the Lord is already with us. Here. Now.
The bottom line is that Advent lights point to the Light of the world — Jesus who is Joy to the world.
What if every single light we saw this season, from the candlelight of advent wreaths, to the stars on Christmas trees, to the twinkling house lights and storefront windows, had the power to increase our joy of Him?
Well, what if we actually let that happen? What if, as a kind of crazy advent experiment, we choose to pause and to breathe in joy with every light we see and to breathe out, deeply, the presence of the Lord? We would indeed be walking in the light of the Lord! But really, what I’m talking about is much more than the power of positive thinking… that is exactly the kind of grace we can get from the sacraments — the very presence of Jesus lives in us -- during this Advent season!
This is the start of a new year… the chance to begin again with God… to come… to walk… to dwell… in the light of the Lord.
Let us welcome the invitation The more we know of Him, the more we want of Him, the more we can anticipate the joy of the coming Christmas and the Coming Again.
God is light and in him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1: 5