Light That Candle! Advent as a Season of Resistance
By Suzanne Nicholson (Firebrandmag.com)
EXCERPT: Austere Advent decorations can provide a powerful witness, a deep testimony to suffering. But the basic purpose of Advent is to point us to Christ—both to remember his birth and to prepare us for his triumphant return. When we light candles, we point to the light of Christ and the hope that Christ brings to a dark world.
In times of war, lighting the peace candle is more important than ever. It is a reminder that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). To extinguish that candle—or not light it all—suggests not solidarity, but hopelessness. Instead, Christians are called to resist the dark forces of this world, proclaiming the Lordship of Christ over every rule, authority, power, and dominion, both in this age and the age to come (Eph. 1:18-21). Our hope comes from fixing our eyes not on the darkness that surrounds us, but on what is unseen—that which is eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). This is how the apostle Paul was able to have such great joy despite his being chained to a Roman soldier 24 hours a day. Through prayer and thanksgiving he discovered that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7).
We must light the peace candle in a time of war. It is an act of resistance. It proclaims a greater power than the suffering and sorrow that surrounds us.