Our first Advent candle has been lit. Twinkling Christmas lights illumine every corner. Inspired, I’ve begun making Bethlehem stars.
I pick up the big ball of soft yellow wool and the tiny bamboo needles and carry them with me throughout the house. I tuck them into my bag when I go out, stealing moments to stitch the stellar points that will be my Gift of Light to those I love.
My Gift of Light…..
Moments after Isaiah the Prophet scolded the people of Israel and Judah as they plunged deeper into the black depths of sin, he foretold the coming of the Light.
“….in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan — the people walking in darkness have seen a great light……For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…..he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
I knit stars, and I read of the sins of a nation nearly 3,000 years removed from ours. So long ago, yet they could be our headline-makers.
“Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption. They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”
And then, God offered Promise. I listen to these words spoken through Isaiah:
“I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”
They have turned their backs on him, YET HE WILL NOT FORSAKE THEM.
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
On Sunday, our Pastor leads us to a truth spoken by the Promise, the One sent by the Father. Seven centuries after Isaiah foretold His coming, Jesus the Messiah stood on a mountain, speaking to the followers who walked with Him. His call, reported by the apostle Matthew, echoes across nearly 2,000 years:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden……let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Today, as I stitch points on stars, I ask God: “How do I answer this call?” My Gift of Light should be so much more than a tangle of stitches, I think, and with the next stitch I whisper the name of the loved one who will receive this gift. I pray into the tangle the promises of my Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
That He would “turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.”
That He would show me how to give the Gift of Light He placed in me on the day I became His.