It is always hard for me to get used to Daylight Savings Time. It was especially hard when I lived in Seattle. I would go into a class in daylight, and come out into the darkness. It was so disorienting. I am feeling a bit disoriented now, as well. Somehow Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are entering a new liturgical year. Advent is a season that I love, and yet never feel I do it justice. It is easy to get distracted by my “to do” lists.
Preparing for the coming of Jesus has many layers. I am reminded of John crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” I reflect on the ways my inner being might be made ready for Christ’s light. To prepare the way of the Lord, I have to be willing to remove obstacles out of the path. What is hidden in the darkness of my soul that needs to come to light? What are the things that get in the way of Christ’s love and mercy? What grudges am I holding on to? What fears can I let go of? How do I stop comparing myself to others? Instead of looking for ways to fill up space, I pray that God will help me leave open space for Christ’s glorious light.
As I walked through my neighborhood last night, I noticed twinkling light breaking through the darkness. Where just a week ago there were deep shadows, now light illuminates my path. As I prepare the way of the Lord, I become aware of those who are in need – of hospitality, of a kind word, of a meal, or of a warm coat. I pray that as God has brought me the light of awareness, God continues to opens my heart and my hands to respond generously.
This hymn from the 6th century speaks to the necessary mindfulness and hopefulness of Advent, the coming of Christ into the world. May the power of Christ’s love overcome the darkness of violence and hatred. May God lead us in the path of peace, and guide us to respond lovingly.
“Hark a thrilling voice is sounding: ‘Christ is nigh,’ it seems to say; ‘Cast away the works of darkness, O ye children of the day!’
‘Wakened by the solemn warning, From earth’s bondage let us rise. Christ, our Sun, all sloth dispelling, Shines upon the morning skies.’”
Hymn 59, The Hymnal 1982