During a time when Christians were persecuted, a certain man resided in the catacombs, the underground tunnels in Rome. It is very dangerous to venture into these channels as it is very easy to become disorientated and not find your way out. This young man had made his abode at the opening of one of these tunnels. He dared not enter any further as he was well aware of the danger that existed.
However, one day he was enticed to just enter a few steps and discover the mystery that was part of his current dwelling. He carried a candle, whose light would certainly make his mission successful. With that, he began his expedition. He really didn’t find much and wasn’t interested in continuing any further. Thus, he turned around. He moved through various tunnels to return to his abode. Suddenly, he was overcome with fear as he could not find the exit. He should have been out of there a long time ago. Was it a possibility that he had become disorientated? This was definitely a possibility in this mass of channels. He turned around but without success. Panic seized him, along with the thought that he was lost in this mass of dark tunnels. But he continued to comfort himself with the thought that the way out must not be far away.
Suddenly, his light was extinguished! It could have been a draft of air or a water droplet which fell from the top—but his only light was gone. Immense darkness surrounded him. Driven with despair, he wandered around in the darkness. He scraped his body on the rough edges. Fearful hours passed by. His predicament become more and more hopeless until he finally collapsed with exhaustion.
When he awoke, he felt rested. But he was still surrounded by hopelessness. He tried again to grope around in the dark, but he realized: it is all in vain. Overpowered with exhaustion, he fell down—to die.
Vivid pictures from his past flashed through his mind, causing him to forget his present condition for a few minutes, but then it returned—tremendous anguish! He called, he prayed. Perhaps God could help him? But how could He help him now in this great darkness when he never had anything to do with Him? A miracle would have to take place! How could he possibly get out of this terrible darkness? Oh, if only he would have a light!
Suddenly—was it a dream or was it real?—he saw a glow of light in his darkness. A glimmer of light was shining around the corner of the dark tunnel! A voice inside of him said: “Arise! For your light has come!” He gathered his last bit of strength together and followed the light. Bright sunshine flooded towards him. But he was just too weak to walk any further. Totally exhausted, he collapsed.
When he awoke, he was in a hospital. A small group of people led by a knowledgeable leader found him and brought him to the hospital for help.—
We are presently in the Advent season, where preparations are being made for Christmas in Christian countries in almost all circles. Advent means joyfully awaiting the coming of the Light.
Perhaps you are presently in a state of darkness, darkness resulting from sinful follies of the world, and you are lost in various “tunnels” and are laying on the ground in hopelessness and despair. Behold, your light has come! Gather all of your strength together! Arise, for Jesus Christ, the Light, wants to illuminate you!
What preparations are you making to receive His Light? Perhaps you are singing the song during this time of Advent: “O Lord, how shall I meet You, how shall I welcome You? My hope, my heart’s delight.” Is this truly your heart’s desire, or is it only empty talk?
You’re really hoping that you will be in heaven someday with the angels and all the saints. How is this possible? Are you not actually ashamed that others assume you will be going where the saints gather in the name of Jesus, of Whom you say He is your heart’s delight? Perhaps you are imitating the Jews who couldn’t tolerate hearing the truth, the Word of God (see John 8:43). With whom are you planning to be with in heaven? Consider if there won’t be a punishment for you to spend eternity with those people who you avoided here on earth?
Oh arise, shine, for your light has come! The time is certain when you will be meeting Jesus Christ, the Light. This Light will reveal your entire life; nothing will be hidden. It will be like an X-ray, but a thousand times stronger than the most modern X-ray machine could ever reveal. God’s X-ray even reveals the thoughts that are found in the heart! And then what? Then it will be too late open up your heart for the true Light. Instead, you will sink into the night of eternal darkness. Therefore, arise while it is daylight, and follow the Light that is shining towards you. Let Christ illumine you and bring you out of all errors “to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels…to the church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Hebrews 12:22-23).
Then you will be able to truly celebrate Advent.