During this Advent, a season of anticipation and light, catch glimpses of God’s love coming alive in the world and participate in acts of mercy and justice as empowered by God’s Spirit. This devotional, offered by the BWC's Advocacy and Action ministries, uplifts themes of justice and hope for the season through bold and faithful voices for your reflection and response. You are a brilliant blessing and we give thanks to God for you this Advent. Let us be light!
Walk In the Light: A Message from Bishop Easterling
An Advent Message from Bishop LaTrelle Easterling
“Walk in the light. Beautiful Light. Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright. Shine all around us by day and by night. Jesus is the light of the world.” – Thomas Whitfield
In the beginning, the Torah tells us, God spoke, saying simply: “Let there be light.” And, there was light. Later, as our creation story continued to unfold, Christ proclaimed in John 12:8, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.”
While the origin of light, electromagnetic radiation, has been debated for millennia, the Light that guides the steps and illumines the path of disciples is unquestioned. We embrace the mystery of the Incarnation – that the light of the world shines among us – but we also stand with certainty on the Gospel promise that we are children of an almighty God. As Christ-followers, we agree with Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, that, “there are secrets which cannot be fathomed, nor accounted for,” nevertheless, “from what we see of heaven and earth, we may infer the eternal power and godhead of the great Creator.”
While the realities of the world may swirl around us as clouds of darkness, we are never without the light of Christ. The presence of that light is as sure as the presence of the sun. Though storm clouds invade and thunder roars, just above the tumult, the sun continues to shine in all of its radiance. The fauna and flora of the earth do not wither in times of storm. Rather, they draw upon the nutrients already deposited in their roots to continue thriving until the sun is visible again.
During this season of Advent, as we are assured that Christ, our perpetual light, is present among us, may we draw upon what has been deposited deep within our souls. May we proclaim hope, pursue peace, celebrate joy, and share love.
It is my prayer during this season of anticipation that we will engage in small acts of kindness, share unconditional expressions of love, revel in unprovoked times of celebration, and lose ourselves in seasons of infectious laughter. That is what it means to walk in the light. That is what is means to be content, regardless of the circumstances. This is not living in denial of the struggles of the day nor being inauthentic. Rather, it is living as those who claim the resurrection. Again, the words of John assure us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it.”
There is a hymn from my childhood that always causes me to sway and smile and remember. It takes me back to times of joy and congregational celebration. The refrain proclaims: “Walk in the light. Beautiful Light. Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright. Shine all around us by day and by night. Jesus is the light of the world.” No matter my mood or circumstance, I cannot sing that song without eventually smiling, clapping my hands, and praising God for God’s goodness. As Amanda Gorman, our 2021 inaugural poet reminded us, “The new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Let’s be brave together. Let us be light.
Suggested musical selections from YOung AdultS in the BWC:
Nov. 28 – Proclaim Hope
Room for Us All (The Many)
Soon and Very Soon (The Imperials)
December 5 – Pursue Peace
Mary Said Yes (St. Paul's Chamber Choir)
Comfort, Comfort Ye My People (The Many)
Dec. 12 – Celebrate Joy
People Look East (Marty Haugen)
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (Sara Groves)
Dec. 19 – Share Love
Once in Royal David's City (Sufjan Stevens)
This Little Light of Mine (Sam Cooke)