Image: Nina Bisognani
As we enter the season of Advent, we begin to experience some of the darkest
times of the year. The sun sets earlier and rises later than we might like.
Diminished are the fall’s last rays of healing warmth. We begin to feel the chill of winter approaching.
Many of us try to avoid the longer nights by putting candles in windows and decorating trees with sparkling lights. Light brings us comfort, and joy over what lies ahead.
But the skies have grown darker and we fear what we cannot see.
Creaking floorboards late at night in a lonely house.
Strange shadows on the walls.
The sound of coyotes howling at the moon.
Fears of people unlike us, of personal failures, of hunger, sickness and death.
We tend to store our inner fears in the outer darkness. Such fears are passed along through generations. Imagine the whole world suffering from a collective fear of the unknown. How thoroughly have these fears altered our lives since ancient times.
Though we often think of darkness in a negative way, darkness and light are both a part of God’s plan. In Genesis, darkness precedes the light. As we journey through these dark days, heading toward the light of Jesus’ birth, we enter a restful time of quiet anticipation.
This is the time of Advent. A time of HOPE.
We can see the stars in the heavens in all their glory.
The brightest of those stars led the way to the birthplace of Baby Jesus.
Stay awake, says a small voice inside us, lest you miss the greatest light in this season when it arrives. His spirit may enter our hearts as an owl whose soul comes out at night with wings beating softly; the light of the world and our salvation.
– Nina Bisognani