Jesus' kingdom is a kingdom of light. Matthew recounts the beginning of Jesus' ministry by quoting a Messianic prophecy from Isaiah 9.
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali-to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles-
the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
The last installment in the Advent tradition is to light the Jesus' candle. It can symbolize a lot of things, but most obviously it reminds us that he is the light of the world and that his kingdom is light. (Colossians 1:9-13, 1 Peter 2:9) The hope this brings me is that by walking with him and following his ways I will become more like him. Without light, there is no life. Life in the kingdom is found by walking with him in the light. From there we can fulfill Jesus' words to his disciples in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world." My prayer for us is that we continue to be a light for Jesus in our everyday lives, in our gatherings, and in our scatterings, so that we make Jesus accessible by walking with him.
Grace and peace,