In the Darkest Season, Pay Attention to the Light

In This Darkest Season of the Year, Let’s Pay Attention to the Light

Sunday Scripture

I’m about to break one of my own rules.
I never talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving.
Never!
But, I’ve created a guided journal to lead readers into a focused and uncluttered Advent celebration, and in order for you to get it, print it, or load it onto your device in plenty of time, I’m sharing it in November–one week before the first Sunday of Advent. It’s free for all newsletter subscribers, and I’m eager to share it with you!

In the darkest season of the year, let’s talk about LIGHT!

When the Apostle John picked up his pen and began his first letter to the church, light was one of the metaphors he returned to. As the only remaining living witness to Jesus’s life and ministry, his goal was to establish a solid base of truth concerning the Word of Life in a post-apostolic world in which deceivers were lining up to spread false gospels and to make a profit from distorted messages.

John had seen the “true Light” (John 1:9), and knew that his experience as an eye-witness gave him a distinct advantage in determining what was true—and in filtering out all that was untrue. He bent over backward to establish the record of his three-year discipleship training time with Jesus, not sparing one bit of the full sensory detail:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.”

(1 John 1:1, emphasis mine)

Even today, the Holy Spirit continues to use the witness of John the apostle concerning the light and life that come from God, available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for John’s letter marks a passing of the torch. John shares the good news that even though two millennia separate us from sharing his unique eye-witness status, it’s not too late for us to have a personal experience with Jesus Christ.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.”

John 1:9

He came, and he’s here! Let’s celebrate his arrival together!

Welcoming the Light: A Guided Journal

I want to invite you into a meaningful Advent practice I’ve adopted for the past two years. It’s simple and yet so lovely:  I have made a point of looking out the window early in the morning.

As I packed lunches and prepared breakfast, I was also watching for the arrival of the light.

Once the first rays of sunlight were visible in my east-facing window, I would scribble my observations into a tiny notebook and then get on with the business at hand. It wasn’t until afterward, reading in January over a month’s entries, that I began to notice how uniquely each day’s sunrise appeared, some days with brilliant golden rays, others in an apricot haze, and some mornings the only sign of light is a pink glow across the frozen ground.

Another meaningful Advent practice I adopted last year was reading through the carols in my church’s hymnal, one per day, and then recording one line that spoke to me in my journal. Paying attention to the light and celebrating the Savior in song provided a still place for me and inspired me to share that experience with my readers and friends. In the guided journal, you’ll find space to record your own observation of the sunrise and an excerpt from a carol for you to ponder (and even sing under your breath all day!). Then, I hope you will open your Bible to the short scripture passage that follows each entry and establish the firm habit of a daily appointment with God.

Of course, you can accomplish all this on your own in the pages of your journal, but this PDF format allows you to read online or print the journal if you wish. Even if you decide to print the journal, keep your phone handy, because I have embedded links to the carols within the text, enabling you to click and listen, especially if you don’t have ready access to a hymnal.

You can even share it with friends, and if you do pass the journal along to someone, I’d sure appreciate your mentioning my monthly newsletter and recommending that they subscribe.

I invite you to draw near this December to the True Light. We’ll begin on the first Sunday of Advent, November 28, 2021, and continue through Christmas Day. If you are already a newsletter subscriber, it arrived in your inbox last Thursday. To receive your own copy of Welcoming the Light: A Guided Journal, simply enter your email address in the field provided. I am committed to the truth that women can become confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word. If that’s your goal, I’m offering resources to help you along the way.

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May you find the practice to be enriching as you meet daily with the Lord of this season, in celebration of his incarnation. He became like us so that we could become like him.

Holding You in the Light this Advent Season,

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

In the darkest season of the year, let’s talk about LIGHT! Join me in Welcoming the Light with my new guided journal for Advent.

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53 thoughts on “In This Darkest Season of the Year, Let’s Pay Attention to the Light”

  1. What a cool form of meditation! I’ve noticed the sunrises in November have been spectacular—I think God gifts us with beauty this time of year to remind us to slow down and think about him.

    Like

  2. We begin a special Thanksgiving holiday as a reminder of all to be Thankful for, and then over the holidays from Thanksgiving to the New Year, we are reminded of all to be so thankful for within a year. It outweighs the negatives.Love this time of year with family; especially more as I age.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Like

  3. I am an older grandmother and have been receiving your newsletters for several years now. I appreciate so much your view of biblical truth and your way of expressing how it impacts your life. There have been many times I have intended to send a response but never have until now. And now it is a matter of necessity since I can’t figure out how to get your guided Christmas journal to be able to print it. I remember opening the newsletter it right away when I received it and even listening to the musical link. But then I put off printing it since I was low on ink. Now that I’m printer ready, I can’t figure out how I saw it before or to be able to get back to the prompt. I think I signed up again to receive your post even though I’m already on the list. I need help.

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  4. Michele, I love watching the sunrise every morning. It’s been a practice of mine for years now. It’s always slightly different, marks the seasons, and blesses me every morning as it comes up over the woods in the back of our yard. The faithfulness of God is astounding and He reminds me of His Presence each and every morning.

    Like

  5. Somehow the light is more precious to us when there’s so much darkness. I am so glad we celebrate Christ’s birth this time of year, however much people argue that He might not have been born in December. The symbolism of the Light of the world coming to us at our darkest is fraught with meaning.

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  6. I love both of these ideas as a way of reflecting during Advent. I often see the sunrise in the morning but never thought of stopping for a moment to reflect on it as a way of welcoming the light as Christmas approaches. #MischiefandMemories

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  7. Michele, your words were so soothing to my spirit. I loved this phrase–watching for the arrival of the light. I just received your guided journal in my inbox. I’m looking forward to starting a new tradition.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your post at our Senior Salon Pit Stop.
    Pinned to Senior Salon Pit Stop InLinkz Linkup Shares board and tweeted @EsmeSalon #SeniorSalonPitStop

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love waking before sunrise and watching the light change. Even in the cold winter months, I like to sit outside with a mug of tea and a blanket to watch the sun rise. Thanks for linking with #pocolo

    Like

  10. I love the idea of reading through a month of sunrises to see how they change. Sometimes we forget to really SEE what is going on around us as we take the days for granted! #MischiefandMemories

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  11. I love Christmas carols so I like the idea of seeking meaning in the lyrics one at a time. The dark nights are drawing in but we went to a tree lighting community event and seeing the locals come together and the lights turning on was very special. Thanks for linking up with #MischiefAndMemories

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  12. How very lovely. I look out of my bedroom window each morning when I wake up and see the sun rise over the London Shard in one direction and the Crystal Palace antenna in the other. It is my good morning ritual and it grounds me everyday. I love the idea of a more meaningful advent and just today was talking to my children about how we are going to make Advent more than waiting for Santa this year through preparing thoughtful gifts, writing poems and drawing pictures for elderly relatives and housebound people in our community #MischiefandMemories

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  13. This guided advent is so wonderful. What a perfect way to make the early morning moments meaningful. Thank you for linking up and for sharing your journal link.

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