In advent, we work and wait and wade through the darkness and that darkness often finds its way into our homes. Though we have access to artificial light with the click of a wall switch or the turn of a small wand, there is something about the darkness that gives us pause. Even when we find our way around in the darkness we cannot actually escape it. We can only become familiar with it. We learn to manage ourselves under its cover. Unless and until we find a source of light, we are captive to the darkness and it forces us to adjust our vision and our actions.
How do we shine a light in our homes?
Perhaps with an advent candle.
Perhaps with words that illuminate our situation instead of lies that reframe our reality.
Perhaps with kindnesses extended to loved ones that we ordinarily reserve for strangers or those we deem worthy of our most polite interactions.
The darkness seeps into our homes and we must sweep every corner and light every dark place with our advent candles for we are not the only ones who wait for the God who comes. We wait in anticipation of rescue but an adversary waits alongside us planting seeds of doubt or worse - misappropriated expectations - so that when God comes and comes as a child we are let down and no longer trust the God who promised to come.
We want tradition and are led astray by culture.
We want justice (American Style) and God comes to provide another vision of justice for all.
God comes to bring reinforcements for the fight but we forgot to suit up and we forgot to fight.
Fear languishes in the darkness seeking to take our faith away. But the prophet declares that no one shall make them afraid. We will not study war anymore.
What will it look like to live peaceably with all men?
What will it look like to hear and live out the fulfillment of the promise?
When will we see the God who comes?
Perhaps when we adjust the light in our homes and remember to fear not the dark nor the dangers that lurk therein.
God does not come as another sun or another star. God clothes the light in flesh. There is a spark in each of us that will light the way through this dark time if we make room for it. There is a light that outshines the artificial light of lamps in my home. It is the light that is in me. It is my job to make dark places light with my love and my life. It's not a holiday song, but I feel like singing, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!" Shine while you wait. Shine in the darkness and give the world a glimpse of the Light that is to come!