“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
This is the Scripture we read as a family as we lit the first advent candle on our advent wreath this week. Advent is here! It is my favorite season. Maybe it’s the introvert in me who likes the excuse to be quiet and spend time reading, meditating on Scripture, reflecting on life, basking in the glow of candles. And yet this week as we lit the candle and as I had the time to sit and be still, I found myself getting restless. Sitting still. It’s something I’ve learned to do, but I must admit I’m a little out of practice. These past few months have been filled with travel, meetings, speaking, teaching, preaching, kids school activities, etc. And now that I have time to stop and be still, there’s this inner urge to keep going…keep moving.
But, the invitation of Jesus to follow in John 8:12 is one that makes me fight the urge to get up and get on with my daily “to-do” list. It invites me to sit and be still, to remember what it means to follow Jesus who is the light of life. In John 7 and 8, people are arguing and trying to figure out who Jesus is and he tells them straight out, “If you knew me, you would know my father.” (John 8:19) Get to know Jesus and we get to know God. Yes, discipleship is active and involves action, but it also involves going deeper and knowing more intimately the one who we follow. And so today I breathe a little deeper and settle down as I listen to my favorite advent hymn, “Come thou long expected Jesus.” I’m reminded that advent is about longing and waiting, and so I give myself permission to sit still and to wait. Yes, I will get up and go, but first I need to be still. I pray that this advent you too would fight the urge to “go and do” 24 hours a day and take some time to sit still, to reflect on the truth that Jesus is the light of the world. This is indeed good news.