“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I love the decorations, the atmosphere and the excitement of all the children. There are times, when Christmas seems rushed, running around trying to make everything perfect but at the same time missing the moments. At other times, their is sadness, painful reminders of the past or loneliness that fills the air. I think each of us can relate to some of these seasons through our life journey this time of the year. Yet, we each know that the season of Advent is not about the decorations, the presents, the rushing, the perfection, the pain, the sadness, or the loneliness.
It’s a season of waiting, waiting for Christ.
Interesting that in the midst of all the preparations so many of us go through that the focus of the season is to wait.
So, let’s explore what this “waiting” may look like?
Perhaps it’s a time of stillness, a time of anticipation, a time of readiness.
In the waiting are we preparing our hearts? Are we excited in a joyful anticipation? Have we made space, reviewed the areas in our lives that are too busy, preventing us from sitting with Jesus? Are we hopeful that the darkness in our lives will be brightened by the light of Christ? Are we open to seeing God around us? What about welcoming change within us to be a good and faithful servant?
A few days ago, there was a heavy fog present as I walked along the pond at work. I always look for God’s presence as I walk around this pond. It gives me a peaceful start to my day, a hopeful anticipation of what God may reveal to me throughout my day. During these walks, I listen to the sounds around me, open my eyes to see all that I can take in and I just talk to God. On this morning, I thought about the limited view that I have, the dark areas that have not been uncovered, not illuminated. As I circled around the pond, I noticed a white pelican. He walked cautiously into the shallow end of the pond’s edge, rapidly dipping his bill into the water in search of food. I wondered if he could sense the feel of where the fish may be or if he just randomly dipped his bill in, in hopes he would scoop up some fish. I think this is kind of what Advent is. It’s that stillness, being open to where God may reveal Himself to us. Yet, it’s also a time of anticipation and hopefulness of what God has in store for us that we cannot yet see.
It reminds me of the crosses I often see, many times I see them along my path during my morning walk. Each time I see a cross, I smile as I know that God is opening my eyes to see His presence in my life. When I come across a cross that has been formed by two twigs, pine needles, or branches, God is shining light upon the darkness in my own life, my crosses. But He isn’t reminding me of the pain, He is reminding me of His presence in my journey as I carry these crosses. He is opening my heart and my mind as I wait for Him to reveal what He wants me to see, hear, touch or smell during my walk. He is showing me hope in the cross, reminding me how He has carried me or has lifted the weight and the burdens of these crosses. But most of all He speaks to me within the transformation from the darkness through His love.
This Advent as I sit and wait for the coming of our Lord, I’m reminded that Jesus came humbly as a baby, born in a stable and died humbly through an unconceivable love. It is the cross that was His destiny and it is through our crosses that we will reach our destiny, our journey home. During this Advent, I pray for humbleness, stillness, peace, an anticipated hope and joy, knowing that life may have moments of darkness but that darkness can never overcome the light that Christ brings into this life when we are open to receiving Him. Blessings and Merry Christmas! May Christ shine His light upon all areas within you as you companion with Him.