We experience the longest periods of darkness during this time of the year. The days are growing darker and darker, reaching peak darkness on December 21, the winter solstice. For many of us, it is dark when we go to work in the morning and dark when we come back home again. All of this darkness can be depressing!
There is an even more depressing darkness, however. It is the darkness into which every human being is born – the darkness of sin and death. On December 21, the day of great darkness around us, God’s people sing the fifth of the seven great “’O’ Antiphons,” imploring Christ, the “Dayspring” as He is described, to come: “O Dayspring, splendor of light everlasting. Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (LSB, 357).
At Christmas, we celebrate God’s answer to the prayers of His people for light and life in the midst of darkness and death. The prophet Isaiah saw the coming of the Light of the World and wrote, “Christ pronounces Himself the fulfillment of this prophecy, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).
By God’s grace and mercy, the Light of the World has come and He has replaced the darkness of death with the light of life. We proclaim a message of Light in the midst of darkness and we invite all to come into this Light and receive life!
Your gift to The LCMS Joint Seminary Fund supports those who are preparing to proclaim this message of Light in the midst of darkness for generations to come. One gift supports the preparation of our future pastors at both LCMS seminaries. Or, you may designate one of the LCMS seminaries (Fort Wayne or Saint Louis) to receive your gift. Thank you in advance for your generous support of our future pastors.
Even as the days continue to grow darker at this time of the year, we have a Light that cannot be extinguished. We look forward to an eternity dwelling in the light of this Light as John describes it in Revelation 21:23, “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
May this eternal Light bring great joy to you and your family this Christmas!
In Christ, our Light and our life,
Rev. Dr. Glen D. Thomas
Executive Director of Pastoral Education
PS. Remember, your gift today can help replace the darkness of death with the Light of life!