At Advent, we turn our hearts and minds towards the light that broke into the world's darkness. The light that has changed everything. We are invited to encounter that light and then asked to be that light ourselves, in a world that so desperately needs it.
Written by Fred and Caroline Drummond with support from Alliance member organisation Mission Aviation Fellowship, these short, daily reflections will help you to fix your eyes on Jesus and ponder how you can bring light into dark places.
Encountering the light
Working with over 1,500 partner organisations, MAF enables access to people and places our partners would otherwise struggle to reach. Shortening travel times, we increase their efficiency.
Day 08 (04 Dec)
“Your word is a lamp for my feet.”
Have you ever had a power-cut in your house? Have you been scrambling around hunting for a torch? Moving so slowly, banging into stuff and losing all sense of space. Without light everything has a tinge of confusion and fear about it. God has given His word to us so that we can see what is around us. We are not going to fall flat on our faces or be frightened to move because we have a lamp that is for our feet. Is God saying something specific from His word into your life? Are you acting upon it? How seriously are you taking that word?
Lord, I thank you that you don’t leave me in confusion. I don’t need to be paralysed with fear, unable to move my feet forward. Thank you that you have given your word as a lamp to my feet so that I can see what is around me. Help me to pay attention to the light. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day 07 (03 Dec)
"Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
We follow lots of things in life: advice, fashion trends, other people. However, there is only one type of following that comes with a promise as wonderful as the one in this text. Jesus, who is the light of the world, promises that we won't walk in darkness when we follow him. He lights the path for us when we are close to him. Light and following go together. How closely are we following? Are we leaving everything and following Jesus wherever he leads?
Lord, help me just to follow you. Sometimes I want to know every possible turn in the road, measure every risk. Help me to have the trust just to follow so that I am not stumbling about in the darkness. Give me courage God to answer your call and follow you anywhere at any time.
Day 06 (02 Dec)
“I am the light of the world."
in all his ways. He is holy and he is gracious.
There is no one like him. The wonder is that
Jesus, God’s perfect light, loves you. Jesus calls
you to get closer to him, closer to the light. Is
the light dim because you are so far from him?
Do you need to draw nearer to Jesus?
Lord, I thank you for your love. Forgive me for the times when I wander away from you. Rather than basking in the warmth and brightness of you I see you dimly at a distance. Lord, help me to draw closer today, to seek you and to worship you and know again your affection for me. Amen.
Light in Darkness
Some of the most vulnerable communities in the world are locked behind formidable geographical barriers - mountains, swamps, deserts or jungle. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) fly light aircraft into these remote and hard to reach places with a vision to see isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ's name - to bring light to areas of darkness.
Day 05 (01 Dec)
"God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all."
1 John 1:5b
This morning I cleaned a pair of shoes. I don't know how I did it but I seemed to get more on my hands and on my shirt cuff than I did on the shoes. There were marks all over me. Tainted by polish. There is darkness around us. We see the symptoms of it everywhere. Innocent people suffering, systems breaking down, hopelessness and fear gripping people in a choke hold of desperation. It is easy for us to be tainted by it all. To become either hardened or apathetic. We can be tainted by cynicism or we can cross the road and not get involved. In God there is no darkness. God is light that is pure. There is no taint of anything on God - no darkness. Even the darkest situations and circumstances can be penetrated by Him. Light has come.
Lord God, help me to reflect upon my own life. Show me the areas of darkness in me. (Silence) Where I have become hardened to the plight of others or where I have lost the will to do good, Lord help me. Bring your light and your forgiveness and help me today to walk in your light. Allow me to see that in the darkest places it is possible for the light to shine brightest. Amen.
Day 04 (30 Nov)
“Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
There are approximately 200 independent sovereign states in the world. There are lots of forms of government. There are places that are being governed badly. People are living in fear, others are dying of starvation, many face persecution. There is darkness upon many lands. In the promises of the coming of Jesus we are given a picture of one who governs with justice and righteousness. Jesus is the one who alone can bring peace. He is the prince of peace. Take time to think of one place in the world where people are suffering.
Lord, have mercy, bring order out of chaos, protect the vulnerable, strengthen the weak and give voice to the voiceless. Let your peace come to us, God, and let righteousness and justice flow like a river. Amen.
Day 03 (29 Nov)
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The son who was to be born was the one who would give council. He has both wisdom and compassion. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is called a counsellor. He is one who gives sound advice, who is close enough to the situation to understand what needs to be done. Many people live in the darkness of confusion, weighed down by the decisions that they need to make. In God we have one who is the supreme counsellor. He is able to bring light and direction into even the most confusing of situations. It may be that during this Advent you are facing a difficult decision and are not sure what direction to take. Ask the Wonderful Counsellor for light and direction.
Wonderful Counsellor, we ask for your guidance at this time. Help us to take the right paths and the correct decisions. Lord be our guide. And even when we take a wrong turning, help us to trust that you are with us, healing, restoring and forgiving. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day 02 (28 Nov)
"On those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned."
The writer and director Woody Allen wrote: "It's not that I am afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens". But we are there. Dying is a certainty of living. We cannot escape it. Many face either the fear of death or the numbing pain of bereavement. In the midst of such a reality of darkness there is the promise of God that the light will shine. "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." The promise is for the light of the presence of God to be with those going through the valley of darkness.
Lord, have mercy on all those who are living in the place of the shadow of death. Those in that valley coping with terminal illness or those who have lost loved ones. God, who is light, bring strength, hope and comfort today. Amen.
Day 01 (27 Nov)
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light."
Let's begin our advent journey thinking about those who are living in darkness. They may be on the other side of the world from us, or right next door. There are many reasons for walking in darkness - fear, loneliness, oppression, depression, poverty or violence are just a few. God sees those in darkness and becomes light for them.
Lord, we name before you those we know who are going through times of darkness. We think of them and ask, gracious God, that you may bring them light, hope, love and direction. In Jesus' name, Amen.