The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
I greet you at the beginning of this new Church year with an ancient prayer of assurance and confidence in God’s abiding love. Psalm 27 is such an appropriate prayer for us during this time of year when the days shorten and become cold.
“The Lord is my light.” It is heart-warming to glimpse the sun’s light. Indeed, the sensation of light seems to be the precursor to the feelings of love and fellowship. Light and love seem to be bound together. The First Letter of John in which the theme of love seems to dominate, begins with acknowledging our need for God’s light: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1;5). The opening of John’s letter tells us that walking in the light of God brings fellowship with God and with one another. In God’s light, therefore, we truly learn the meaning of love and how to live in true fellowship.
The psalmist tells us that God’s light brings us salvation. This divine light is not merely a reflection of the sun’s rays or some other created luminary, it is God’s own light that saves us from darkness, especially the darkness of the grave and death. This divine light is provided to all who receive Jesus as God’s living word of life.
During the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany we celebrate the light of God come into the world through Jesus Christ. An ancient proverb says, “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” We celebrate in the West the light of God come into our world at the darkest time of the year. The darkness in nature, however, sometimes has a way of creeping into our souls. We become depressed, anxious, even afraid. It may be hard to feel the light of God’s love. In the midst of our anxieties and fear, we are called as individuals and as a community to pray, to hope, to have confidence in the God who brings light and love into darkness. Most of all we are called to wait in hopeful expectation and prepare ourselves for God’s sovereign reign in our lives and in our world. Psalm 27 ends with the exhortation:
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
Let us enter this new year with quiet confidence and joyful expectation in the God who is our light and salvation.
May God’s light and love be with you during this holiday season!