I’ll admit there has been some Star Wars watching around here lately, hence the title.
But, light sabers aside, there is a dark side to every story. We all have our “other side.” It’s what we set aside for first dates, first impressions, and job interviews. It can be very ugly or just unknown. It’s the part that is at times misused and always misunderstood, miscommunicated, and misjudged. When we can acknowledge and invite God into our other side, going deeper begins.
There’s a dark side to this Advent story too. As we lit the second candle last night, it was so good to be gathered around the table. And then we read the Scripture.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:26-38 (NLT)
I felt the cringe of scandal while listening. Mary didn’t seem to cringe. I know she was human, but then she seemed to accept the dark side of her situation along with the Light of the World.
I saw a question look shadow my 9-year-old girl’s face. So, I knew it was coming. “What’s a virgin, Dad?” she asks innocently. Isn’t it funny how they hear it year after year and suddenly they ask a question? Aren’t we all like that? Maybe this is your year to ask.
We answered together very matter-of-fact. “Oh, okay,” she says. We all stare at the candles. A Prophecy candle lit…God meant for Jesus to come (Good News for all). The Bethlehem candle lit fresh. Wax isn’t dripping yet, but our minds are dripping with mystery. The mystery of a virgin, the Holy Spirit of God. The mystery of the God-Love. Why would God want to be among us? Her pregnancy was misunderstood. Joseph was misjudged. Tongues wagged. God moved in the dark side.
May everything you said….come true. Let it be done. Your will not mine.
O, God can you move in my dark side, too?
It seems that God likes to work with scandalized people and situations. What greater HOPE is there than that…that you and I need today?
Shine Your light Lord Jesus in our dark. We wait for You.
I give thanks today for:
273. outside Christmas lights hung by a dad and his girls
274. Good dreams
275. Family birthday parties
276. photo book programs
277. letters of blessing flowing in for Mom
278. Psalm 18:28
279. darkness in faith; faith in darkness
280. old photos of Mom
281. writing contests
282. flickering candle light…the peace that it brings
Join me in offering thanks for these gifts of light.