Today's readings are in my friend Isaiah (9:1-7) where Isaiah is reminding the people God was with them in a couple of different battles, IS with them and will be there in the future. Isaiah, like other prophets, is trying to call the people back to God. They are letting the world "around" them be the most important. Isaiah is pointing out the love, and justice, God has for God's people. The early church also pointed to verse 6 as talking about Jesus -- 'wonderful counselor,' 'prince of peace,' 'Mighty God.' Verse 2 points out that "those walking in darkness have seen a great light." In today's Gospel reading Jesus is pointing out He is the "light." (John 8:12)
When schedules get busy, when no matter which way you turn there is a list of things to do, when the answer to your prayers seems to be either 'no' or 'not yet' or when you get home from vacation you get a monster cold (yup, I have a cold!) what is it you do? Do you stop, take time with God to - as Mark Batterson puts it in "Draw the Circle" - to keep praying? Do you thank God?
Yes, I know thanking God is not the first thing we think of. In fact stopping to be with God isn't always the first thing! As we celebrate Thanksgiving, prepare for Advent (and Christmas) it is an interesting thought to also "thank" God for the hectic schedules, the things that have to get done (and the things you would like to do), the phone call you didn't want, the answer to prayer - even if it seems to be no, and for the cold. I'm thinking it will change our attitude if it doesn't change anything else. Happy Thanksgiving!!