Plunged into darkness is the way I describe changing the clock to standard time. It’s dark when I get up in the morning and dark before I leave work in the evening. If I didn’t sit near a window, I wouldn’t know the sun even comes out except for the weekends. But it’s being in this inky darkness that reminds me that I have to be a light.
As we begin Advent, we light a single candle on the advent wreath. It’s amazing what one candle can do to darkness. It might not make the room as bright as a modern lamp, but a single candle can light up what’s around us, and help us to see where things are in a room to avoid tripping over them. It’s what our faith can do for us. It makes us a light and helps us to see what’s around us and guide us to God.
Each week of Advent brings another candle to brighten the light even more. This preparation for Christmas is a time to reflect on how much light we give to others. With each act of charity and mercy, our light becomes stronger because we welcome God into our lives. We share the love of God with others, becoming His hands and feet on earth. In doing so, we reflect the light of the Trinity out to others, magnifying our own brightness.
It’s only a short four weeks until Christmas which may be packed with activities and parties, but we need time to prepare for Christmas in our hearts as well as among our family and friends. If we take time each day to reflect the what and the why of our celebration, we can enjoy the festivities with a greater appreciation of the gifts God has given to us. We can shine in the darkness and give light to others on their faith journey.