2018 Advent Devotional – January 1

New Year’s Day

Numbers 6:22-27

 The Light of Life

When I was a Boy Scout leader, one activity our boys eagerly anticipated was our annual caving expedition. Southern Indiana is dotted with limestone caves, and for teenage Scouts spelunking is a whole new level of fun. One year we visited a commercially operated cave and toured with a guide. We hiked, climbed and crawled deep into the cave, eventually stopping for a break. Before continuing, the guide shared an experience I still remember. We turned off our lanterns, and then he extinguished his light, plunging us into complete darkness. Darkness that you could physically feel, closing in, pressing down. After about thirty seconds, our guide slowly brought his light back up, pushing back the darkness, revealing familiar surroundings, giving us light that brings life.

Numbers 6:24 contains a familiar, hopeful benediction that begins:  24 The Lord bless you and keep you . . .

As the year begins, my prayer is that “the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you . . . and give you peace” (25, 26).

Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12).

-Jim Neill



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