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Dec 2, 2014

Advent // Walk in Light & Be Courageous


this post is part of the peony project's monthly link-up.

there's this place not far from my hometown called christmas village.  it's literally only open during november and december and the place is just covered in christmas lights.  you can see it's glow from far away, peeking over the hills as you approach.  its light guides you, and it's hard to miss.

light is a funny thing.  it seems so simple, and it surrounds us every day, yet it's so powerful.  it gives life, it guides, it helps.  and yet in the bible, light is one of the most moving pictures of christ's coming.

one of my favorite verses in the bible appears in isaiah 9:2.
 the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

years before the birth of christ, isaiah predicts his coming through the symbolism of light shining on a fallen israel; a people walking in darkness.  and then, at his birth, light is used to guide the magi to him.  and with his birth he brings glorious light.  he humbles himself to live amongst us.  emmanuel.  god with us. 

i won't pretend to know what god was thinking when he sent his son down to earth.  but from time to time i wonder if jesus knew, even as a baby, what he was getting himself into.  this fall, i read let's all be brave by annie f. downs.  it's all about leading the courageous life god is calling you to.  it's one of those books that is riddled with great quotes, and one of the absolute best ones in the entire book is found towards the end and is just six little words:
courage was born on christmas day.

i'm sure jesus knew exactly what his becoming flesh among men meant.  and i'm sure it took courage to come and live a life that was less than glamorous in order to save a people living in darkness. emmanuel. god with us. 

the other thing about that verse in isaiah that i like to think about is how the people would have responded.  after trudging around in a deep darkness, wouldn't you want to dance in the light?  and christ's birth didn't only signal courage for him, but for the rest of us as well.  because he chose to live amongst us, we get to revel in the glory of his courageous light.

as we enter the advent season, i invite you to think over that verse, and that quote.  

in what ways are you walking in darkness?  what areas of your life need light?
maybe there's a relationship in your life that needs mending, or maybe you've been turning away from god in pursuit of other things.  maybe you're facing this christmas without someone you love, and that's painful.

how is god calling you to courage this advent season?
is god nudging you to invite your neighbor to your church's christmas eve service?  to step out in faith financially and give generously to a family in need?  to open your home to someone who has nowhere to go this christmas?

allow the light of christ to dawn over these areas of your life and then embolden you to make bold and courageous steps toward his light.  and live as a people who have seen a great light.

we showed this video in church this past weekend.  it features an excerpt from a sermon by charles spurgeon, and everything about it gives me chills.  i hope you take a few minutes to watch it and be encouraged by the power of christ in us.

 

if you're a blogger reading this, and you've been searching for a community to call home; searching for people who will understand this part of your life, who will get the blogging world and who will be real friends for you in it, then i hope you'll consider joining us in the peony project.  that's our heart, after all...to be friends for the journey.

and if you just stopped by today to do a little reading, then i'm so happy you're here.  and i hope you'll either consider what advent means to you and join in on our link-up, or that you'll stop by a few of the other posts below and check out what it means to some other awesome ladies. 


9 comments:

  1. I loved that book and that quote. I will be definitely praying these things and then...that Charles Spurgeon mini sermon: God with Us.

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  2. What a beautiful post! I must admit that I grinned from ear to ear at your mention of Annie's quote! That book, that verse, the community you joined during the study, this time of year, and the Peony Project fill my heart with such joy. Thank you for bearing His light in this world! Virtual hugs!

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  3. I love this post, so beautiful! Love that quote and Bible verse too!

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  4. I've been in the darkness so many times in my walk with the Lord but He's always brought me back into the light when I've almost given up hope of finding it. I love the warmth He provides and how it shines not only on the inside but the outside, too. <3

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  5. "Courage was born on Christmas Day." I love that so much!

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  6. So much goodness in this post! Love this prompt & The Peony Project :)

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  7. I adored this post. Thank you for sharing your heart, Betsy! The concept of light in the Bible has truly fascinated me this entire year and has been a major source of inspiration and has taught me so much about the Lord. I loved seeing your perspective on it and the awesome ways our God moves! xo

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  8. Wow, this was such an incredible post! Definately inspiring :)

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  9. I love that quote: courage was born on christmas day. wonderful!

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