As Wisconsinites, we live much of December in more darkness than light. With the actual beginning of winter, the hours of daylight increase. These days in December coincide with our celebration of the liturgical season of Advent. When I walked with a friend in the early morning hours, we would notice that somewhere in the first few weeks of January, something changed. We could hear the chickadees singing in a way that prompted us to think that winter was losing its grip. Light was increasing.
Advent is a time to move from darkness to light. In order to experience this movement we need to accept the change that will come patiently. We can’t hurry the process. Our culture however, encourages us to hurry during these days. We fill them with Christmas preparations and often do not set aside time for prayer and reflection. Although we want the light that comes with the celebration of the birth of Christ, we don’t want to spend the time in patient waiting.
With the First Sunday of Advent we are reminded of the light we are about to celebrate, the very light of Christ. Isaiah tells us “let us walk in the light of the Lord.” Paul in his letter to the Romans says, “…put on the armor of light.” Christ is referred to as the light of the world. In the Gospel of Matthew we hear “Stay awake.” If we are to experience the celebration of the Nativity, we are to wait patiently for the light to increase in our hearts knowing that the incarnation of God taking on human form gives us the hope we need to live in what is often a world of darkness. Let us all use this Advent time in patient and prayerful waiting as we anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who brings light to the world.