Waiting can be exciting. Waiting can be painful. Waiting can be both at once. Tension. Anticipation and hesitation. Joy and Fear, all wrapped up in one uncomfortable package. Waiting. Which is the heart of this Advent season. The nights grow long, but this is called the “season...
Waiting can be exciting.
Waiting can be painful.
Waiting can be both at once.
Anticipation and hesitation.
Joy and Fear, all wrapped up in one uncomfortable package.
Which is the heart of this Advent season. The nights grow long, but this is called the “season of light.” The twilight tension causes us to wonder: which will grip us finally, the bright light or the dense darkness?
Sufjan Stevens puts it this way:
“Once in a while, you may think you see better than the others
Scrambling around in the dark with your drum
There is a time when young men must grow up and be brothers
Are you afraid of growing too fast?” (“The Child With the Star on His Head“)
Isn’t that the Advent lie we settle for? Don’t we all scramble around in the darkness, thinking we can see better than the others, even though we can’t see much of anything?
Our waiting is tempered by the flash of a new toy. Illuminated by the glitz of a seasonal spectacle. Neither will overcome the darkness, both will lose their luster and we’ll be left in the dark.
There’s a kind of false child-likeness in this fleeting search for the light. Jesus praised the children and little ones, but probably not because of their tendency to dash after new shiny things.
We turn waiting into stalling or settling. Stalling the journey of growth and transformation. Settling for the flashing lights whose cords will eventually burn out.
You can wait and grow, you can’t stall and grow.
Waiting means there will be a time to grow up, stalling is settling for the fear of that growth. Fear of bumping into our own darkness. Fear of bumping into the darkness of our sisters and brothers, of our enemies. Fear that the light may not come and so settling for the glitz and glamor of this commercial season.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. For there is another, a “child with a star on his head, and all of the world rests on his shoulders.” And he won’t call us to bright lights that will eventually fade. He’ll call us to the light of the world.
He will expose our darkness and the darkness of our sisters and brothers. His light will pierce the darkness all around us, the darkness of death and disease. The darkness of violence and injustice. The darkness of trying to purchase eternal life with a credit card. The darkness of stumbling around in isolation, contented with our own understanding of the world and our place within it.
The light will come, but the light will not leave us alone in the darkness. Because in the light we won’t just see the child, we’ll see faces all around us. Faces, which moments before weren’t far from our own, but which were kept hidden from our eyes by the darkness we settled for.
The light has already come, and the light will come again. But will we be transformed and walk in the light or settle for the darkness of our own path, our own way? That’s the question I’m wrestling with this advent season.
Yes, Come, Lord Jesus. Transform our darkness to light. Free us from bondage to the lesser lights we chase after, set our hearts alone on your Light, the One who was and is and is to come.Share on Facebook Tweet This Pin This
Posted in Blog |