Ponderings

There are so many things I have on my heart that are begging to be written. Our family has been so blessed in the last several weeks.  Our joy in our faith is being renewed as we celebrate Hanukkah, the miracles of God, and the Advent of Emmanuel among us.

In contrast to seeing the Light of the World grow brighter with every candle we light, we have been witness with the rest of our nation as darkness has sought to extinguish the light. Families are in mourning. A horrific act of violence against childhood innocence has sent shockwaves throughout communities around the world. Many are in fear that this darkness has the power to overcome us.  Fingers are being pointed at everything from guns to government conspiracy to mental illness. Action is being desperately called for to give us some sense of security; some feeling - however deceptive - that legislation, societal awareness, *something* can effectively assure that nothing like this will ever happen again.

But the truth is that it can. The sad reality is that it probably will. It is the ugliness of human history. Light has always contended with Darkness. Sometimes the Darkness finds an individual, sometimes a group, uses a lie, or a promise, or guilt, or jealousy, or pride, or any number of things that can motivate the human heart...and it strikes a blow against the Light. And it is terrible to behold. Yet the light refuses to be extinguished. Hope lives. Good flickers on. It may be a very small ember struggling alone, but eventually the flame blooms again and the Darkness must retreat. It has been beaten, after all.

We must be cautious to live in Truth during this time when Darkness and fear seek to propel us headlong into false hopes and assurances. Our Hope exists in the finished work of Jesus Christ. All else is illusion.

Two quotes have been particularly meaningful as I have processed current events in the context of Truth and within the timeline of our Hanukkah and Advent celebrations. My hope is that as I share them, you may ponder them and find the ember of hope kindled in your heart and the cold grip of fear powerless in your life.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."   
 -Henry David Thoreau

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
-Ephesians 6:12

May we be wise enough to strike at the root of evil and strong enough to endure the scrapes from its branches.

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