Our Inner Light
Lights are abundant this time of year. These illuminations twinkle from rooftops, drape around shrubs, and adorn our Christmas trees. I have always felt a certain peace and joy radiating from lights, brightening the dark of winter evenings. Growing up in New England, I treasured the first snowfall that blanketed the plants and allowed carefully placed Christmas lights to peek through the fresh powder. Throughout this Advent season, in our time leading up to Christmas, it seems more fitting to focus on our own light however, that which burns inside each of us.
Our inner light may burn more or less brightly at times. In our most trying moments, this light may flicker, but in Christ it may never be fully extinguished. “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). The inner light is a reflection of God’s existence in every human being.
Advent provides the perfect moment in the liturgical calendar to reflect on and become an observer to one’s inner light. As the Christmas lights provide a sensory experience that is both meditative and calming, directing our attention inward may be similarly meaningful. In times of significant turmoil, mistrust, and anger throughout our world, the reminder that an inner light burns in all of us hopefully brings recognition of each other’s humanity. When we are unable to imagine a starting point for the healing that our communities, nations, and our world require, a sense of our own inner light should become a beacon for others.
In our own community at Wake Divinity, finals are approaching, and our semester is coming to a close. With our own internal peace, let us show forth in the world a hope that each person may find this light. Let us also recognize that this light is one of privilege, a reminder that the light of God, although present, appears absent to so many around the world today. We pray for those with flickering inner lights, that they may burn brightly one day. It is impossible to impact others when we have not first found peace and light within ourselves.
Marc DeCoste is a native of Plymouth, MA. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa, graduating in 2015 with a B.A. in Sociology and Neuroscience. Marc is currently serving as the Youth Director of Calvary Moravian Church in Winston-Salem.