If we want Advent to transform us
– our homes and hearts, and even nations –
then the great question for us is whether
we will come out of the convulsions of our time
with this determination:
It is time to awaken from sleep.
A waking up must begin somewhere.
It is time to put things back where God intended them.
~Alfred Delp from When the Time Was Fulfilled
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Light and dark are part of the interwoven tapestry of advent.
We stumble in the dark to the uttermost ends of the earth,
groping for a foot and hand hold
to keep ourselves from falling off the abyss.
Then His glory lifts us, illuminates, covers and surrounds us
so we can find our path and walk with confidence.
Startling, wondrous magnificence beyond imagination.
Grace that brings us to our knees,
especially when we are mired in trouble.
Drink deeply of this.
Hold it, savor it and know that to witness His Light
is to see the face of God.
Our Light has come, unexpected,
shining in an infant’s smile,
from the depths of darkness within a manger.
God is with us.
Hear ye people, even to the uttermost end of the earth.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.
The people that dwell in the shadow of death, upon them the
light has shined.
For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given,
God is with us,
And the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
God is with us,
The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Hear ye people, even to the uttermost end of the earth:
God is with us, Christ is born.
~John Tavener (adapted from the Orthodox Great Compline for Christmas Eve)