December 10, Thursday                                      Paths

Psalm 119:105-106 (NRSV)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.

Early mornings find me walking near my home, generally about three miles each trip. I do it for exercise because the orthopedist who replaced my left knee told me to do so. “Wear it out,” he said, referring to those pieces of titanium I now carry with me. “Walking is the best way to do it.”

Now that the days are getting shorter it is quite dark when I set out. There is generally enough illumination from streetlights for me to see, but at times I have to be careful that I don’t misstep. Often, this portion of the 119th Psalm comes to mind.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

At first this familiar passage from the psalm seems redundant...“lamp unto my feet,” “light unto my path.” Isn’t lamp and light the same thing? Not necessarily. Consider this: “a lamp to my feet” guides the pilgrim where she or he is, while “a light to my path” illuminates where the traveler is going.

And what is the source of this illumination? “Your word,” says the psalmist. Then he clarifies what he means...

I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.

The Advent season affirms that God has now chosen to give us more than ordinances; we are given God’s self in the form of One who walks beside us. With Jesus, we have all the light we need to journey into the darkness. And as we journey together, Jesus whispers in our ears, “Wear it out. Walking is the best way to do it.” Somehow, I don’t think he means a prosthetic knee. He may just be referring to our life.

When we come to the end of life’s journey, wouldn’t it be great to say that we are thoroughly used up? If that is to be true, we can be assured it is because we have had available to us all the Light we needed to be able to see. 

Reflection
Where is your light taking you? Where is your path?

Prayer
Walk with us, Lord, in the way you have promised, and give us the Light of your grace. We ask this in your name, Amen.

By Randy Hyde, Senior Pastor
Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, Little Rock

 

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