There is hope. As 24/7 news cycles produce what seems a never-ending litany of bad news, a Christian dad is to be cognizant of what it means to be a light of hope. While he cannot ignore the media, he can maintain a healthy perspective by keeping his eyes focused on Jesus. December is a great time for dads to lead with the right perspective, to focus on the hope that is the Reason for the season, the Christ-child’s birth.
Advent, starting four Sundays before Christmas, provides a good model to do that with the five candles that make up the Advent wreath. This Sunday’s candle points to the HOPE that is Jesus’ second coming; the second candle represents the FAITH Christians have in the miracle birth of the Lord Jesus in Bethlehem; the third candle rekindles the JOY the shepherds experienced when they heard the angels sing on high; the fourth candle is a reminder of the PEACE introduced to the world through the Prince of Peace; and the fifth candle, lit on Christmas eve, is the Christ candle which is the Light of Hope Christians are to reflect in the home, church and beyond.
“I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” … He continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am He, you will indeed die in your sins. – John 8:12, 23-24. This passage serves as a reminder in what can be a dark world. The Pharisees were caught up in their own darkness of religious law. If they would have lifted their eyes to see Jesus for Who He was, His Light would have blasted through their darkness. Light always overtakes darkness. Likewise, dads are to look up and let Jesus’ light illumine the hope needed in today’s world. The charge to dads is to lead as a light of hope through Advent to CHRISTmas with family discussions around the Reason for the season.
Tips to lead the way to CHRISTmas:
- Initiate a family Advent wreath in your home and discuss the hope, faith, joy and peace enjoyed in relationship with Jesus the Christ as you light the candles each week;
- Read Luke 1:1 – 2:20 as a family and discuss the miracles, the relationship between Mary & Elizabeth and between Jesus & John the Baptist;
- Challenge each family member to be a light by writing a personal note of love and encouragement to an extended family member or a friend.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and the Light it is in this world. Too often I have chosen to dwell in darkness, being immersed in media instead of Your word, leading my family in a secular way instead of Your Way. Forgive me. Grant me clarity in through Your word and blast Light through the darkness I tend to tolerate. Help me reflect the Light of Hope that is the Reason for the season, and lead my family in Your Way through Advent to CHRISTmas. That is the dad You call me to be, and that is the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father leads as a light of hope through Advent to CHRISTmas.