The days are getting shorter as we push further into Winter. The darkness has creeped up earlier and earlier in the afternoon and even with the sun shining in a cloudless sky, the weather is cold almost lifeless. This is the first Sunday in Advent. It is the first stop on a journey of waiting before the festival of light shines in the deep darkness. Then the days will start to get longer and more light will shine. That is the promise.
No doubt we have experienced the darkness in recent weeks, with mass shootings here and abroad, bombings of market places and weddings, airplanes shot down or sabotaged and tempest tossed refugees drowning in the dark unforgiving waters of the Mediterranean Sea while we debate a non-humanitarian response. The latter crime is wanting a safe harbor to let their small families flourish in the light. What has humanity become? Is there any hope for us as a species? There has to be.
Lighting a candle? Or cursing the darkness? It looks like darkness is winning for the time being. Darkness feeds off the spewing of rhetorical and circular logic that is not grounded in fact or reality stoking deep seated fear and hatred. The words are not whispered to one another but have the forum of a polling for the highest office in this country. That these speeches resonate and have footing in crowds is the real fear. The words present obstacles for quiet reflection and honest discourse and more importantly rational human decisions. They are the darkness born of ignorance and half truths.
Advent is a time for waiting, waiting for the light to shine in the darkness because we know the darkness cannot compete with the light. It takes time to ignite, darkness does not give up without a fight, but eventually it must submit to the light. Truth always wins the brutal scrutiny of the light. We, therefore, must not be fearful of the sword rattling or name calling. History is full of these dark stretches. Truth will win out. Nightmares will end and the darkness will disappear. The more light, the less darkness, and we are the matches. That is the real hope of this season.
…and so it goes…