Advent-wreath-week-2

 Light

This time of year, many people decorate their homes with lights. The same can be said for Christmas Trees seen sparkling from windows in various homes. For some, like me, each Sunday a candle of an Advent Wreath is lit; today the second will shine along with the first as I walk through the second Sunday of Advent.

Light and darkness seem to go hand in hand, as one can’t be appreciated without the other. The psalmist writes, “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. ” (Psalm 139:12) Isaiah writes, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; light has shined on those who lived in a land of darkness.” (Isaiah 9:2). Both light and dark must be recognized before each can be discerned and understood.

In the 21st century, we take light for granted. With the invention of the light bulb, darkness as most people knew it was vanquished; relegated to a bygone era. On any typical day darkness is removed by a flip of a switch. For those who camp, or spend time in nature, darkness is real, and can be menacing. Darkness is vulnerable, unsafe, and scary. Darkness strips away our confidence. Darkness reminds us that we are not in control.

Light, on the other hand, brings about comfort, peace, and joy. It represents knowledge, wisdom, and safety. Light speaks of knowing, and understanding. It calms our fears, and lightens our void, and turns what was once thought of as scary into something new, and bright. Metaphorically, light can also cleanse away the muck and the grime of past iniquities, reviving our inner being, rejuvenating our essence, restoring balance inside and out.

Getting through the “holiday” season is perilous. We rush like a vigilante to complete our tasks by December 25. Shopping Malls may become a gladiatorial confrontation,  as well as the act of driving from one place to another becoming the final moments of a Nascar championship. When each day becomes a countdown towards the day of reckoning, we, without realizing it, have entered into the land of darkness looking toward the abyss.

A collect from Advent asks God to place upon us an “armor of light.” What, or how might you, during the days ahead, emulate an armor of light? How might this light emanate through you to others in which you come into contact? How might you be the light of peace, calm, and understanding in a world filled with darkness? I invite you to ponder this over the next week, and seek ways to make it known,  because if we seek light, it will find us, and we shall know it, and become it, and be it.

“Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility.” ( from BCP p. 211)