“Treasures of Darkness” illustration by Gary Gaede

Advent Day 13 – Friday, December 14

There are upwards of 150 references to darkness in the Bible.

Darkness was there are the beginning. In fact, that’s all there was. Darkness preceded light, which took until verse three of Genesis 1 to show up, courtesy of a God whose power passes all understanding. Darkness wasn’t banished, though. It was separated from light and given the name “night.”

Throughout the Old Testament, darkness was a synonym for despair, misery, hopelessness. Poor Job referred to darkness nearly 30 times through his ordeal. Darkness showcased God’s power when Egypt was plunged into pitch blackness for three days. But hope sprang from the prophets, as in Isaiah 42:16: “I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.”

In the New Testament, John used the light-versus-dark comparison to stress that light wins. Always. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

And, in 1 John 1:5, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

During each Sunday in Advent, we light a candle on the Advent wreath. The four candles bring physical light to the church, to be sure. But they symbolize the coming of Christ, the true Light of the church and the world.

May this season bring you joy as darkness is turned to light.

—Dennis Gale