Today’s reading is sobering, to my mind. We read that in some cases, the Gospel is veiled. It is veiled only to those who are perishing.
The god of this world has blinded them. We often think of these as nations far away and far different from our own, but there may be perishing ones among us, and we say this Advent season, Oh Lord God, say again, “Let light shine out of darkness!”
We know beyond mistake that the light in us did not originate with us, and so we have hope. Lord God, let the god of this world suffer a mighty defeat this month; let the light of the Coming of Christ Jesus into the world, Savior, King, Lord, Healer, Deliverer, Son of God, Son of Man, Messiah … shine in other hearts, in our neighbors’ hearts, in prisons, in nursing homes, in our towns and villages and churches, too!
I was born again on Christmas Eve. I believe in Christmas miracles. I was perishing. I didn’t believe. And then I did. I say, “Shine, Jesus, shine! Shine in us and through us, and save those near and far. Flood the nations with grace and mercy. Send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light!”
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God.
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 4:3-6)
“To Visit the Imprisoned”
Gustave Dore, 1873