This year I'm blogging through Advent season. The goal is to put up a shorter post every day in December on topics related to the holiday, and I'd like to toy with some different media (music, poetry, art). I may not stay faithful to the format, we'll see, but I'd thank you to come along on the journey with me anyway. I hope this can enhance your Christmas experience as I'm sure it will mine.
"Advent is not for the naïve. Because in spite of the dark and cold, we see light—you look up, or you make light, with candles, trees. And you give light. Beauty helps, in art and nature and faces. Friends help. Solidarity helps. If you ask me, when people return phone calls, it’s about as good as it gets. And who knows beyond that." - Anne Lamott
I love this. I love the image of making light, of practicing hope by shining light into the dark places. That's what God did with Advent, He shone a light into the darkness which did not understand the light:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
Lamott wrote these lines last December in response to Newtown, to the senseless slaughter of children. She says in the face of pitch blackness we have to make light, and I agree. We have to sing against the darkness, because the alternative is to be eaten up by it.
When you feel wrapped in shadow, make a little light. Or if you don't feel strong enough to make it, seek it out, follow the star to the Godchild. My mom used to drive my sister and me around every year to look at Christmas lights, up the butte to the water tower and back down, and it was magic. It was holy. It was Advent, refusing the succumb to darkness but instead choosing to abide in the light.
God spoke the Word of light to the dark world, and the darkness did not understand, and it did not overcome. So during Advent season I practice believing in that, not just with my mind but with my heart, hands and mouth. I practice hope, because I'm not very good at it.
So make a little light.