God will judge between the nations and settle disputes of mighty nations, which are far away. They will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools. Nation will not take up sword against nation; they will no longer learn how to make war. Micah 4:3

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Light and darkness. Those are the first words that come to mind as I gaze at the above photo of our beautiful sanctuary. It is a late December afternoon. In the short winter days, darkness is already upon us, except for the single ray of light sweeping diagonally across the chancel. All is dark, but there is a bright ray of hope. The prophetic words of Micah 4:3 come to us in just the same way. The world of the first century and the world of the twenty-first century are full of darkness. Nations take up sword against nation and we practice war quite regularly. We also take up violence and practice war against each other. How easy it is to grow cynical. How easy it is to lose hope. In fact, it seems rather sensible so to do. The darkness is already upon us.

But in Advent there is a ray of light. There is a ray of hope. No, God’s kingdom has not been fully consummated. Nations have not yet beaten their swords into plowshares. But something has changed. A savior has come and has changed us. And like that single ray of light, we are like a candle lit in the darkness.

Someday. Someday, the prophesy of Micah will be fully realized. Until then, in that single ray of light you and I hear and find our calling. Something has changed, indeed.

Larry Lenow