The winter solstice is still a month away, but already the sun is setting before we leave the office, and the chill in the air has us bundling up in winter clothes. Today is the day many call “Black Friday” – because Christmas shopping sales are hoped to bring retail businesses out of the red and into the black. It seems the end of the year is upon us.
Yet, before we can arrive at Christmas Day, we have four weeks of Advent to cross. The church’s new year begins this weekend with the First Sunday of Advent, and we will count out the four weeks of Advent by lighting candles on our Advent wreath.
We need the light of those dim candles during these coming December days for so many reasons: to remember that, though the holiday lights that brighten our shopping malls and city plazas may shine big and bright, Christ comes to us as something small and almost unnoticed; to remember that the tiniest of hopes and dreams can catch our imaginations on fire and grow into something uncontainable; to remember that there is a light shining in the dark places of this world that cannot be overcome.
Come, Lord Jesus!