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A2 Devotional • November 28, 2010

As the Advent season began one year ago I found myself in a six-bed room on the cancer ward of a Japanese public hospital. From my human perspective as a person who had enjoyed a previously healthy, hospital-free seventy years of life, it was an unlikely, unexpected, unwanted, unpleasant, unanticipated venue.

There was plenty of darkness in that room as each of my fellow-patients had been struck with the stopper of a cancer diagnosis calling for various measures of severe treatment with no guarantees on getting out of the black hole. It was definitely cause for reflection on the value and meaning of life.

I was the only one in the room who knew about Advent—the coming of Light into our dark world. My daily challenge was to shine that light in little ways by listening, comforting, encouraging, smiling and by small quiet acts of kindness and lots of prayer. That’s as far as I got with many of those coming and going in the room, but with a few I had strategic openings to share God’s Word directly and to introduce them more clearly to the Light.

The Advent of Jesus started in such an unlikely, unexpected, unwanted, unpleasant, unanticipated venue—his bed an animals’ feeding box in a dark, dreary, shabby, probably smelly, borrowed stable. What a shocking contrast after the splendors of heaven.

However, the entrance of Jesus into the world was perfectly timed, placed and purposeful according to God’s plan. From the poor shepherds who were the first to hear the Good News all the way to the rich kings from the East who followed a spectacular star, the light was piercing the darkness. Of course, there were those who did not recognize or receive the light, just as is true today.

However, our mission in this present world continues to be sharing the Light of Life wherever God places us—even if it’s a Japanese hospital room. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).

God’s Word also assures us, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).

Dee WirzDolores Dee Wirz
Missionary, Bible Study Ministries
Tokorozawa, Japan


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