Oh Light, our hopes and all our fears, met within your sight. Holy Night.”
–Oh Light by Gungor
Welcome to Advent, the time every year where we as people of faith have the chance to meditate on the incarnation of Christ and all the implications that reality has for us and our world.
Many of us think that Advent and Christmas are the same, that we have this month to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but Advent is actually the season of waiting and longing that prepares us to receive the gift that has come and is coming again. I know in my own life, I generally want things to happen in my timing and I want them to meet the expectations that I have developed. I am also not what you would call a patient man… Advent, however, pushes me to wait, and to wrestle with the longings in my heart.
Sometimes in the waiting I begin to feel as though the darkness around me and inside of me will overwhelm and overtake me, but I think this is why traditionally the church has lit candles every Sunday leading up to Christmas. Candles, while feeble and dim, are a reminder that light, no matter how small, is able to dispel darkness. We may not live in a time where there seems to be an overabundance of light, but even if there is a small flame, it has the strength to push back to night. Advent is the season where we learn to walk by candlelight and dispel the darkness in our world and in our hearts.