Thursday, December 21, 2017
Everything was created through God;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without God.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out. John 1:3-5
A Word of Hope
Today marks the winter solstice, the day of the year that brings with it the longest period of darkness. Darkness is often synonymous with fear, even despair. It is not darkness itself that is at the root of these feelings, but rather it is the fear of what this darkness may be hiding. What awaits us on the other side of darkness?
We are also fast approaching the celebration of the birth of Christ. In this time of Advent, as I await our Savior’s birth, I find myself contemplating this notion of darkness and light. The time in all of our lives when we were the most secure and protected was when we were in the darkness of our mother’s wombs, a time and place where I can only assume that we were free of any concept of fear. We then make our way into the world, birthed into the light. We almost immediately know fear. The first thing that most newborns do is cry out. We have been pushed from the safety of darkness and are greeted by bright light, by unfamiliar voices and hands, by medical equipment, and by separation from our mothers. We are now a part of the world and can see everything that the darkness masked. Despite this, many are still afraid of the dark. How do we lose that feeling of comfort and peace that the darkness of the womb provided for us?
Advent is like that time in the womb, a period of quiet anticipation, a time of growth, a time of waiting securely in darkness. Christmas is the time of birth into the light, both literally and figuratively. Birth cannot happen without gestation. Christmas cannot happen without Advent. Words of T. S. Eliot come to mind. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend.” In these last few days of the Advent season, try to find some moments of quiet stillness and darkness to prepare yourself to greet the Christ child, to welcome the The Light with joy.
Creator and Mother of Us All, help me to find stillness and comfort in these final days of waiting. That in darkness, I may feel the same peace, joy, and love that is birthed into the world as Christmas light.
Kris Baker, Order of Saint Francis and St. Clare