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Beginning Sunday, you and friends can read, each day at a time, the Advent devotional on our Water from Rock website, www.waterfromrock.org. “The Light Has Shined” is also available to you through Kindle.  A hard copy or copies can still be ordered by going to the Water from Rock website and clicking on the banner at the top of the home page or linked on this eVotional.

We pray that “The Light Has Shined” devotional be a blessing to you as you prepare for Christmas, the celebration of God’s Light come to our world!

A fellow traveler,


The Light Has Shined


Our firstborn son Rhett came weeks early and soon developed jaundice. But his pediatrician told us not to worry, “We will shine the Jesus Light on him!”  Curious as to why they called it the Jesus Light, the doctor explained to me, “Oh, we call it the Jesus Light because it works miracles.” And it did! Now, years later, I think of that Jesus Light when I see the miracles that the light of Jesus is working in peoples’ lives. I remember the words of Scottish preacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “A dark hour makes Jesus bright.” 

We begin Advent each year as the earth’s northern hemisphere tilts at its farthest distance from the sun and carries us into the darkest days of the year. As earth angles sideways to the sun, the hours of darkness will exceed the hours of light. Ancient Celts called these days, Dumanios, “The Darkest Depths.” But sadly, we are facing a time in which the days on the calendar mark not only increasing physical darkness, but increasing spiritual darkness across our land. We feel it. We know it. We are confronted by it. In this post-Christian world, the ensuing eruption of lawlessness, violence, economic chaos, perversity and desecration of human life explodes in our faces daily. We feel the seismic plates of a whole culture shifting, rumbling, giving way. Up is down and down is up; we live in such a time foretold by the prophet Isaiah as people “call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).

But Jesus is the Child born for us, the Son given to us, for such a time as this. The candles we burn for Advent, the bright lights we string on our homes, the luminaria we line along our pathways all proclaim the Jesus Light in our world.

Each day of this Advent devotional we will pause and reflect on the promised light of Jesus as “a child has been born for us, a son given to us.” Jesus is the one true light, the Jesus Light, who shines into the world’s darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5). Let’s first look at the Scripture text which we will explore these days of Advent, foretelling the coming of the Jesus Light into the world.

OUR ADVENT SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7

The Advent story begins in a time of deep darkness with God’s answer of light in a Child born for us, a Son given to us. Seven hundred years before herald angels sang, shepherds came, and wisemen knelt to worship, Isaiah was given visions of the coming of the Christ. The Book of Isaiah has been called “The Fifth Gospel”, and for good reason, as it is filled with Good News all wrapped up for us in Jesus. Even Isaiah’s name tells the story as his name means, “The Lord Saves.”

But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 
The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
   on them light has shined…
 For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Centuries before the King of Glory was laid in a lowly manger, Isaiah was given glimpses of Him in His heavenly majesty. We learn this as John’s Gospel discloses that it was the pre-incarnate Christ whom Isaiah saw “sitting on a throne, high and lofty” (John 12:41; c.f., Isaiah 6:1-3). It was the humble Christ, the very God before whom angels hide their faces, singing: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). It is this Jesus who came to pierce the world’s darkness and overcome it with the light of His life. 

These daily Advent reflections spotlight the glory, the wonder, the light of Jesus as seen in a vision granted to the prophet Isaiah. His vision will open for us one of the most sublime passages in all Holy Scripture. The daily reflections come from a portion of Isaiah’s prophecy known as “The Book of Immanuel” (Isaiah 7-12), as it begins with the promise of a virgin born Child who will be Immanuel, “God is with us” (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus is that Child born “for us, the Son given “to us”, and the one to whom we offer worship as “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). 

At the end of each daily reflection you are invited to pause and offer up the short prayer printed for that day. We are praying for you that these daily readings and prayers will deepen your worship of Christ this Advent and draw you closer to Him. May He be your Jesus Light!

“Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness,
Send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, ‘Come Lord Jesus!’”                       

(Henri Nouwen)

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