Loved in the Light


“Where are you?” God’s first response to Adam and Eve’s sin was not disappointment nor vengeance but a question, an invitation to connection. Ashamed and covered, Adam and Eve came to God with a never-before-felt tension. They were caught.

The nagging need for redemption looms over us. Confronted with our imperfections, we hide. We stay in the dark. We strive, achieve, purchase, innovate, scroll. We joke and entertain. We wrap ourselves in religious ritual, appealing to respect for God’s holiness. We love it, and we hate it. We, too, are caught.

Sentimentality about Advent and love abound during this time of year, but love requires a willingness to be known. Exposed. Not even good deeds can come along; they are filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). God asks for just us. Fig leaves in all their forms laid down. Bare. Hands empty. Here we are known.

As we step into the light, we strain and wince at the exposure, but a bruised reed he does not break (Isa. 42:3). Our weaknesses, not our strengths, allow the light to come in. In Jesus, empty hands are made enough. Our self-condemnation turns to wonder and awe at the depth of his love for us. Fear turns to joyful praise. Here we are not just known; we are loved.

As God whispers, ‘Where are you?’  this Advent, do not hear accusation, but an invitation to lift your empty hands to him. God beckons us to his love in the light. Will we keep hiding from him in the dark?


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