the light shines in the darkness

Our God,

We look to Advent as a time
of waiting and expecting
the coming of light.
And so it’s striking,
when we consider the options,
that we await the light,
not in the sundrenched days of summer—
when there’s more light than not—
when we wake up to light in the early morning hours
and go to sleep late though it’s still light,
but precisely during that season of the year
when the days are shortest
and we wake up in the dark,
and we don’t just go to sleep in the dark,
but we come home in the dark—have supper in the dark—
and are surprised each night to discover
it’s only 8:30 or 9:00, 10:00 …
because we’re so tired
because it’s been dark for hours!

And maybe it’s not just one more example
of that oh so very human tendency
to want precisely what we don’t have,
but, rather, recognition of the deeper truth
that in the abundance of light,
we look at everything there is to see in the light—
and we’re absorbed in—distracted by the myriad details,
whereas in the absence of light,
we look first just to and for the light.

So may we, this season,
not be absorbed in or distracted by all the myriad details
(the to-do lists, the travel plans, the gift purchasing
letter writing card mailing holiday baking cleaning …)
but focus primarily just on the light—
the light for which we wait—
the light already illuminating our living
when we’re not too busy, too distracted, too absorbed,
too stressed, too driven, too scared, too focused—
to notice.

This we pray in the name of the one both shining and expected,

Amen.

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2 thoughts on “the light shines in the darkness

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