by Amos Smith
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” –John 1:5
This is the first week of Advent!
Church of the Painted Hills UCC put out an “Advent Meditations” booklet this year. It is wonderful to read people’s varied Advent reflections and stories. It makes Advent personal.
The essence of Advent and Christmas for me is the affirmation that against all odds, in the midst of darkness of global terrorism, in the midst of the darkness of massive environmental degradation, and all of our adult struggles, there is a Light in this world. This Light shined in the most obscure of places–in a backwater of the Roman Empire that no one knew about called Judea. In that backwater on a speck of planet in an average sized galaxy called the Milky Way came a brilliant Light. This Light was so brilliant that it transformed and healed everything around it and spawned a faith that eventually spread to over one-third of the world’s population.
We need to know that there is a Light in this world that participates in the Light that shown at the beginning of time (Genesis 1:3)… A Light that spoke a word into the shadowy chaotic deep… A Word that created order and beauty and meaning out of chaos (poetically rendered in Genesis 1).
When our lives are plunged into chaos after the death of a loved one, a car accident, a random act of violence, a divorce… It is in those times of darkness that we most need to know that there is a Light.
That Light of Christ is the reason for the Advent and Christmas seasons. It is the reason we lift up our hearts and voices every Sunday. In that spacious Light, in that primordial freedom, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).