Advent celebrates the coming of day. The Light that lightens every man comes into the world to break the gloom that hangs over Israel and the nations. Zecharias sings, “The Sunrise from on high has visited us.” Night is past; Dawn has come.

You’d think everyone would be glad, but they aren’t. Herod tries to snuff the Light, and so, eventually, do the rest of the Jews. John assures us that the darkness cannot overcome the Light, but it’s not for lack of trying.

Light doesn’t just illumine. It exposes. And some people don’t like being exposed. None of us like it. We shun the light because our deeds are evil. We prefer to be safe in our sins, safe in the darkness, safe in our shame.

That’s an illusion. We can’t live in the dark, and the dark isn’t safe. You can’t become children of light, can’t live in light, can’t be light in the Lord, unless the light shines to dispel darkness, your darkness.

Every time you wax sentimental in front of a lighted tree, remember that the Light came to bring your sins to light so you can live in Light. When the Light comes, don’t scurry away. You will be saved only if you flee toward the Light.