We have entered the season of Advent, the dark season before Christmas. The lights, songs and bells of Christmas can already be experienced in the background.
This is a threshold season. Thresholds invite us to step from one season into another. One level of awareness into another, as yet unknown. We could be tempted to resist, stepping over the threshold avoiding the season entirely. We could jump right into the celebration of a Christmas.
Back in the adventing time when Jesus first came into this world, it was into a world of people who walked in great darkness, and looked for a light from God. These were times when they just wish God would intervene. Times like that are always happening for some people somewhere. And maybe that is why the Biblical stories catch us, resonate with us, shed light on us. Because, how often do we feel our lives are falling apart? That is what Advent is about.
Our willingness to cross the threshold into the darkness of the unknown this Advent season is our ability to be honest about the dark, while we hope for the light.
When advent begins we are approaching the deepest nights of the year, as the sun sits low in the sky and plays during less hours of the day, leaving the land in darkness.
These themes of darkness and light are what we played with at the recent Advent Poetry and Reflection Event, “From Darkness to Light.” We listened to poetry, and we spent time writing our own reflections on these things.
The following are excerpts from participants’ poems that evening. Thanks to all who participated, and the ways we gifted each other with words that are growing light.
“Listen, can you hear the darkness?
Life waits in the darkness.
New growth needs the still darkness.
It comes forth when it is ready, brushing
The shadows away.”
“Light can be
Illuminating or blinding
Warming or painful
Healing or a struggle
A step towards growth
The path to heaven
A point to lead me home
The anecdote to fear
The love of my dog and my family
Enough or too much.
White or alive with color.”
“The darkness feels both sad
and mad. It feels quiet.
Like you are waiting for something to happen. —A
“Advent is waiting for the light to break up the dark.”
“Light Can Be a stranger
Light can be a pleasant conversation observed from a distance. The words and the characters unknown.
A greeting briefly tossed out at a passerby. reciprocated.
Light can be a warm slight smile exchanged in a store. A moment of connection for no reason.
A raucous moment of laughter shared with folks you haven’t met before and will not see again….”
“Can light love?
Love peril, pain?
Can light arrive in different shapes?
Be open to the light
To the love and peril
To the arcs of pain
Be open still
More light, love, still”
May these poems be gifts of light in the darkness of Advent. And may your holiday season be full of mystery and unexpected light.
Pastor of Spirit Garage