Advent always has strong associations with Isaiah, and today’s Old Testament reading is from his writings: ‘It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord’.

‘Let us walk in the light of the Lord’ – not any sort of light, not any of the false ‘lights’ of our age, but God’s light, the light seen shining in the face of the Son of God, soon to be born.

In all the challenges of our time, we can take confidence in that light, and walk forward in hope. May God bless you and may you feel His closeness to you this day.